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South Buffalo targets eyesores with nuisance ordinance

| Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, 1:01 a.m.

Increasing problems with high grass and abandoned homes have prompted South Buffalo Township to draft a nuisance ordinance.

Supervisors determined the need for an ordinance after trying for months to get a Leechburg man to secure a dilapidated home he owns on Dam Road.

“It's a mess down there,” said Supervisor Terry VanDyke.

Without an ordinance, there is little the township can do if a resident doesn't respond, officials said.

“It would give us the authority to cite people if they don't comply,” said police Chief Tony Chiesa.

Under the ordinance, before a citation is issued the property owner is contacted in person or via certified letter and has 15 days to comply.

Anyone found in violation and convicted of a summary offense will be fined $1,000. If they fail to pay, the person could go to jail for up to 10 days.

The ordinance covers trash, junk such as scrap metal, abandoned vehicles, dangerous structures, swimming pools and hot tubs, animals and noise that is a health or safety hazard or disrupts other residents' quality of living.

It states that grass and weeds must not be more than 8 inches high.

The ordinance gives the property owner 30 days to comply with the weeds ordinance following notification of violation.

Supervisors plan to vote on the ordinance on Jan. 6.

Their regular meeting will immediately follow a reorganization meeting at 5 p.m. Jan. 6.

No tax hike

The township real estate tax will remain the same next year.

The supervisors passed a 2014 budget that keeps taxes at 5.7 mills.

The $879,000 budget was adjusted to allocate $4,000 for the possible hiring of a certified public accountant firm to audit the township's finances.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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