JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – The Jamestown city council will vote on an ordinance to allow housing code violation ticketing at their Monday night voting session.
For the past month, Jamestown lawmakers have heard renditions of the quality of life ticketing ordinance, allowing officers and code enforcement officers to ticket residents for nuisance offenses.
“The ordinance is going to address animal maintenance and waste,“ explained Director of Development Crystal Surdyk. “Clean up of that, a lot of times there’s waste left in front yards, exterior junk and debris, high weeds, grass, or plant growth. Dangerous trees, unauthorized motor vehicles, and prohibited burns.”
In its current form, a resident would be fined $100 dollars for a lesser violation’s first time offense. And $50 dollars for tall and unmaintained grass. Residents will have the opportunity to correct the violation.
“If you don’t pay the ticket, it doubles after 15 days,“ stated Surdyk. “If you don’t continue to not pay it, it will ultimately go into collections or be assessed as a lean onto your taxes.”
The ordinance has also cleared the city’s legal office.
“So as far as this ordinance, they were overall positive to it,“ explained Elliot Raimondo, Corporation Counsel. “There was a request for a progressive system of fines. And even with that progressive system of fines the judges could still waive those if there is a good faith effort by the owner to comply with that.”
The ultimate goal of the Quality of Life Ticketing is to free up the housing court for more pressing issues.
“We’re hoping that this gives us the ability to not only limit the cases that are going to court, to those that are really the most egregious that are a safety threat,” stated Surdyk. “And give our code enforcement officers the ability to have a little more teeth in what they do.”
Jamestown lawmakers will vote on the ordinance at their voting session tonight, starting at 7:30 in the City Council Chambers, located on the second floor of City Hall.