In an effort to address blight, the Folsom Board of Aldermen has adopted an amendment to the village’s nuisance ordinance giving the village authority to remove abandoned or inoperative vehicles from both public and private property.
The ordinance was adopted at the board’s meeting on May 13.
Village attorney Roy Burns, who drafted the ordinance, says that abandoned vehicles are a problem faced by many Louisiana municipalities. The ordinance gives the village the power to eliminate the nuisance, he said, while giving vehicle owners ample notice and time to take action themselves and avoid penalties.
The ordinance defines an “abandoned, junk, wrecked or used” vehicle as a nuisance and lays out a detailed procedure for notifying the owner of the vehicle or the property on which it is located. Once notice has been given, a vehicle on public property must be removed within 72 hours. A vehicle on private property must be removed or secured within an enclosed building within 15 days.
An owner who fails to remove or secure the vehicle after notice is given will be summoned to mayor’s court and may be fined up to $500 and/or 30 days in jail. The owner may also be subject to a civil penalty of $50 for each day the vehicle remains in violation.
After the notice period has expired, the village can remove and store the vehicle at the owner’s expense, and can dispose of the vehicle if it remains unclaimed for three months.
In other business on Monday, Mayor Lance Willie introduced his budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30, 2020.
The budget anticipates total expenditures of $1,232,314, including $336,005 for the police department, $290,050 for general village expenses, and $450,109 for operation of the village utilities systems.
Revenues are expected to total $2,161,775, $744,000 of which is a one-time U.S. Department of Agriculture grant that will go toward the rehabilitation of the village sewer system, a project expected to be completed soon.
A public hearing on the budget will be held at the Folsom Board of Aldermen’s June 10 meeting.