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war on junk waged

Wednesday, June 07, 2017 14:59 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

LaPorte County appears headed to war against homes in disrepair along with high grass, junk and loud noise.
The LaPorte County Commissioners Wednesday gave preliminary approval to creating the position of code enforcement officer and establishing fines that could go as high as $2,500.
It's become enough of a problem that Commission president Rich Mrozinski made cracking down a campaign promise in 2016, feeling too many unsitely properties detract from people wanting to move here.
''You wonder why aren't we growing. Well, that might be part of it,'' said Mrozinski.
Currently, the sheriff's office is in charge of handling code violations but has difficultiy balancing those duties with police work to be totally effective.
LaPorte County attorney Doug Biege said the sheriff's office also lacks ability to enforce the law on some code violations like junk vehicle.
He said an actual code enforcement officer has full authority on all violations and will be able to take the lead consistently and use the police, building inspectors and other authorities to provide assistance.
''Now we'll be able to get the county cleaned up,'' said Biege.
The ordinance also contains provisions regulating noise from sources like mufflers and stereo speakers.
Violations would be at levels that cause injury or endanger the hearing, peace and comfort of others, said Biege.
Donna Weist of 1922 W 300 North expressed support for the noise restrictions because of what she described as grinding sounds from a nearby industrial site on Indiana 39.
''It's so disruptive that you can't open the windows,'' she said.
Steve Kelsey of 1432 W. 300 North urged the ordinance be passed after revealing troubles with rodents in tall grass at a nearby residence.
''Our cats have been bringing home mice from his yard and even on one occasion a very large baby rat,'' he said.
A final vote was scheduled for the next commissioners meeting June 21.
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