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Franklin Twp. expands HB 50 enforcement
Franklin Township is expanding the usage of House Bill 50 (HB 50) to address residences compiling trash and debris.
While the township has until now just focused on nuisance grass and weeds cases, HB 50 authorizes townships to do much more.
Residents who choose to stockpile trash and debris, the township warns, could face nearly $400 placed on their property taxes if the township is forced to abate the nuisance, rather than the homeowner.
“At the time it was new and we didn’t want to bite off more than we could chew,” Franklin Township Trustee Chair Timothy Guyton said.
Guyton said the township focused on grass and weeds and left other nuisance issues to Franklin County Public Health.
The decision to expand HB 50 for the township was proposed on the terms of an as-needed base.
Guyton said this will increase the efficiency in addressing nuisance garbage cases. Once a complaint is filed, the turnaround time for the township to begin abating is 14 days, while Public Health can take up to three months to take action.
Recently, Guyton said, an anonymous tip from a resident alerted him to a residence with an overabundance of garbage and debris in the yard. When investigating the call, Guyton said he observed at least 40 garbage bags piled against a garage.
“I couldn’t have Local Waste or a trash hauler to collect the trash, it was on private property,” Guyton said, adding that, if the trash was on the right-of-way then Local Waste could collect the garbage after a complaint was made.
Just as in nuisance grass cases, a certified letter would be mailed to the homeowner giving them 14 days to be compliant. After that timeframe the road department is legally allowed to step onto private property, pick-up the trash, deliver it to the trash dump and place the costs onto the homeowner’s tax duplicate.
According to Jim Stevens, road supervisor for Franklin Township, the road department has a lot of work already with nuisance cases, but would have no problem abating properties with serious nuisance violations.
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