By Dedra Cordle
Jackson Township will be able to expedite the removal of junk motor vehicles due to recent changes to the state code.
According to Township Administrator Shane Farnsworth, the revisions allow the township to bypass the court system while seeking the removal of said vehicles.
“It has streamlined the process so it will not be tied up in the courts for weeks or months on end,” he said.
Instead, the revision will permit the board of trustees to pass resolutions requesting the removal of a junk motor vehicle.
Farnsworth said that while the term “junk motor vehicle” can be subjective, they will follow the criteria in the Ohio Revised Code.
In the ORC, the term is defined as this:
1. It is three model years old, or older
2. It is apparently inoperable
3. It is extensively damaged (such as missing wheels, tires, engine, or transmission)
If it is determined that the vehicle in question fits the criteria, the board will then approve a resolution to have it removed, thereby notifying the landowner or any lienholders on record of their action. They will then have 14 days upon receiving the notice to remove the vehicle or vehicles. If they do not remove it within that time, the township will have it removed and a tax lien will be accessed on the property.
Farnsworth said there are currently a handful of cases the township is working on regarding this matter, but he would hardly consider it a large problem.
“We only have a small number of complaints for junk motor vehicles in the township,” he said.
He added that the goal of this revision is not to make life harder for residents who perhaps have a few vehicles on their property that fit the definition in the ORC.
“We want to work with them to come up with a solution to get the problem fixed,” he said.
Another revision to the state code will allow the township to expedite the process to control and remove vegetation, garbage, refuse and debris on properties within its area.
“With this, we are primarily dealing with bank owned properties,” Farnsworth said.
If it is on a non-bank owned property, the landowner will be given seven days to address any outstanding issues after receiving notification from the board of trustees.
“This is a little bit different from the junk motor vehicles because this is not just an eyesore,” he said. “It’s a potential health hazard that can attract rats and other pests.”
Like the junk motor vehicles removal revision, property owners will be assessed a tax lien against the property if the township has to remove vegetation, garbage, refuse or debris, or if they have to hire a contractor to do it.