Piedmont moving to clean up sidewalks

Liz Beavers
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Piedmont City Hall

PIEDMONT - Town residents who allow debris to accumulate on their sidewalks will be targeted for clean-up now that Ordinance 63 has been passed.

The ordinance, amended from the original, imposes a penalty for allowing “appliances, old lumber or wood materials, tires, old trucks or automobiles, old tin cans, paper, cardboard, rags, bottles and etc.” to accumulate on any lots, sidewalk or alley within the city limits of Piedmont.

The amendment also includes overgrowth of grass, bushes and trees … anything that would “cause the areas to become unsightly to the public.”

The mayor and council have been working for some time on trying to get some of the town’s blighted properties cleaned up, and feel this amendment is a good first step in that direction.

“We have properties in this town that people haven’t cut the grass even once this year,” council member Paul Coleman said. “We need to put a stop to it.”

According to the ordinance, occupants allowing the accumulation of such debris and/or growth will be sent a registered letter giving them 30 days to correct the issue. If they do not comply, they will be fined $100 for the first offense, $250 for the second offense, and $500 for the third offense.

As the council members discussed the ordinance during their Wednesday meeting, one resident in attendance noted she was having a problem with snakes coming on to her property from a nearby unkempt property.

“There’s houses in this town that you can’t even see hardly because of the growth,” Coleman admitted.

Council member Terry LaRue said the ordinance is a good start, but the town still has a long way to go.

“We all know there are many properties in Piedmont that need to be torn down, but it’s not that simple,” he said, noting that many of the necessary actions require the town to have a compliance officer. That is an expense the officials have previously said is outside their budget right now.

For now, the Piedmont Police Department will handle the enforcement and fines.

“This is a start, and hopefully on down the road we can add to it,” Coleman said.