Medora Town Council to tackle unkempt properties, look into recycling options



Recently driving around town, Jerry Ault found more than 50 properties that are in bad shape.

The new Medora Town Council president determined it’s time to crack down on the unkempt properties.

During a recent council meeting, he suggested sending letters to the property owners in violation of the town ordinance. If they don’t comply, town attorney Matt Lorenzo could follow up with a letter that could result in the town taking the property owner to court to resolve the issue.

“We’re going to let these people know that we’re going to do this, and then if they so choose that they don’t want to participate, then that’s when they get a ticket,” Ault said.

“The only way you’re ever going to get it done, you’re going to have to get in their pocketbook,” Councilman Jim Davers said. “You can go tell them 20 times. That isn’t going to do any good. You get in their pocketbook, (being in violation) isn’t going to happen. It sounds simple to me.”

Lorenzo said for rental properties, letters go to the property owner and tenant. If they don’t comply with the town’s request, they will be fined each day until it’s cleaned up.

Ault suggested having a community cleanup day where residents, businesses and organizations could help with the effort. He also said he could talk to Sheriff Rick Meyer to see if inmates at the jail could help.

“We will get something coordinated and let everybody know what we’re going to do and give everybody a fair chance to try to help make this town look good. The ones that don’t want to comply, then we’ll deal with them,” he said.

“I realize there are some people that don’t have a vehicle, there are some people that are elderly and I will volunteer my pickup truck that day if I have to and the gasoline,” Ault said. “Hopefully, we can get a community thing started. That’s the game plan.”

A resident pointed out a property that has junk sitting out in the road, and town Marshal Richard Hanlin said he recently talked to the owner about it.

Resident John Sheets asked what could be done about the vacant properties near his home. Town employee Steve Ingle said one of them that hasn’t been occupied for several years is in better shape than some properties that are occupied in town.

Ault said neglected vehicles are an issue, too.

“There are all kinds of vehicles in town in yards that don’t even have license plates on them. Some of them don’t have wheels,” he said. “It’s getting out of hand, and it looks nasty, so we’ll get something figured out on that.”

In another effort to clean up Medora, Councilwoman Rhonda Freeman said it would be nice to have more recycling options. Currently, people have to take their items to bins in town.

“A lot of the elderly can’t get their stuff to the recycling bins, so they throw their stuff in the garbage,” she said.

She asked if having the town employees go around to pick it up would be possible. Ingle said that might work in the wintertime because they aren’t as busy, but it would be more difficult in the summertime because they are mowing nearly every day.

Ault said he would talk to Rumpke, which operates the nearby Medora Landfill, to see how the company could work with the town on its recycling efforts.

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