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Municipal court trying to put teeth into city ordinances
by Coy Slavik, Advance-Guard Editor
Aug 02, 2013 | 615 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Vacant lots like this one could be subject to citations and fines if weeds exceed 48 inches tall. With the new municipal court activated, the City of Goliad is concentrating on cleaning up residences within the city limits.
Vacant lots like this one could be subject to citations and fines if weeds exceed 48 inches tall. With the new municipal court activated, the City of Goliad is concentrating on cleaning up residences within the city limits.
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GOLIAD – Until now, the City of Goliad didn’t have the ability to effectively enforce its ordinances concerning health and sanitation.

But with the recent creation of the municipal court, the city is now able to take a bite of grime.

As of Friday, the city had mailed out 43 notices for weedy lots, properties with extensive rubbish and debris and those out of compliance for other city ordinances. The city had also issued 20 junked vehicle notices to residents and property owners.

“Some of these have met compliance,” City Secretary Pam Long said Friday.

Property owners have 10 days to comply with city ordinances or face the possibility of a citation and fine.

Section 6.02.001 in the city code states “It shall be unlawful for any owner within the city to allow weeds, rubbish, brush or any other unsightly, objectionable or unsanitary matter to grow or accumulate on their property.”

The ordinance also states, “If such person, firm or corporation does not cut down or remove such weeds, rubbish, brush or other unsightly, objectionable or unsanitary matter within such ten-day period or the extended period granted by the city council, then he shall be in violation of this section and punishable by fine.”

According to the city ordinance, Long or any other designated officer or employee of the city have the right to go on any premises at any time to inspect properties and ascertain if the premises are free from weeds, rubbish or other noxious or unhealthy matter.

“It shall be unlawful for any person to prevent such officer or employee from making such inspections or to interfere therewith in any manner.” (1990 Code, sec. 11-43)

Junked vehicles may be removed from a property if the property owner or vehicle owner does not make the vehicle meet compliance or remove the vehicle to a location where it cannot be seen by the public.

According to Section 8.06.131, a junked vehicle means a vehicle that is self-propelled and:

• displays an expired license plate or invalid motor vehicle inspection certificate or does not display a license plate or motor vehicle inspection certificate; and

• is wrecked, dismantled or partially dismantled, or discarded; or

• inoperable and has remained inoperable for more than seventy-two (72) consecutive hours, if the vehicle is on public property or thirty (30) consecutive days, if the vehicle is on private property.

Property and/or vehicle owners would be charged towing and storage expenses for the junked vehicle.

The municipal court is also looking into demolishing dangerous buildings and other structures out of compliance in the city.
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