Frankford ponders need for property code enforcement

The need for homeowners to clean up their properties prompted one Frankford Town Council member to remark at the Monday, March 4, council meeting that perhaps the Town needs an official to monitor the conditions of those properties.

“What can we do to clean our town up?” asked Councilman Skip Ash. He said there are numerous residences that have items such as tires piling up on their properties, sometimes blocking drainage ditches and causing issues for their own properties, as well as neighboring properties.

Ash opined that perhaps “we need a code-enforcement officer” to regulate the upkeep of properties in town. “We need people to be aware that these properties need to be cleaned up,” Ash said. “I would like to see us move on this,” he said.

Frankford does have an ordinance regulating junk on private property. Ordinance No. 6 in the town code gives property owners 90 days to clean up such items as junk cars or car parts, scrap metal, batteries, refrigerators, boxes or any materials “which have outlived their usefulness in their original form.”

The ordinance specifies that the accumulation of such materials on one’s property is classified as a misdemeanor and carries a fine of $25 to $100 or up to 10 days in jail, or both.

It would be the responsibility of a code-enforcement officer to monitor properties and to speak to owners directly while attempting to get the properties cleaned up, according to Town Clerk Cheryl Lynch.

Lynch said she has sent out two certified letters to property owners with junk issues since July 1, 2018. The issue, however, comes up at nearly every town council meeting, with either a council member or a resident noting a problem.

It was also noted during the March 4 meeting that there are numerous trees overhanging streets in town that need to be trimmed. Again, Ash pointed out property owners’ part in that problem. “Aren’t owners supposed to be responsible for some of that?” he asked.

His remark followed discussion by the council of spending an estimated $1,500 for a tree service to begin trimming trees that have the potential to create problems for drivers or passersby.

In other business:

· Robert Murray of Envision Frankford announced that an “Egg Scramble” egg hunt for children will be held at the Town Park on Saturday, April 20, starting at 1 p.m., including a special hunt for children with special needs;

· The council voted to approve an agreement with the state’s Electric Buying Group, which will reduce electric costs for Town properties;

· Town Council President Joanne Bacon noted that the Town needs to name its budget committee and begin work on the Town’s budget for the next fiscal year as soon as possible; and

· The council noted that there will be a controlled burn at 6 Thatcher Street on Saturday, March 9, during which fire companies will conduct training exercises.


By Kerin Magill

Staff Reporter