SARANAC LAKE - Homeowners in the village can now be charged on their tax bill if the village is forced to remove garbage and debris from their properties, under a law approved by the village Board of Trustees earlier this month.
The Nuisance Abatement and Cost Recovery Law was approved unanimously, and with no debate or discussion, at the board's Dec. 10 meeting. The decision followed a public hearing, which drew no comments from the audience.
The law prohibits homeowners from storing garbage and debris outdoors, including everything from construction and demolition debris to household garbage and discarded refrigerators. It allows village officials to inspect the property when they have "reasonable cause" to believe there is a violation, and allows the code enforcement officer to serve a written notice of violation or issue an appearance ticket to the property owner.
If a notice of violation is issued, the village board will hold a public hearing to determine whether the conditions on the property constitute a public nuisance. If that determination is made, the law gives the village the authority to go onto the property, remove the rubbish and dispose of it. Any costs the village incurs would then be assessed on the property's tax bill.
Village officials have said the law will provide a way to recoup the cost of dealing with garbage-strewn properties.
Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or firstname.lastname@example.org.