Leesburg Council Continues Discussion On Refuse Ordinance

LEESBURG – Leesburg Town Council discussed rewording its refuse ordinance on Monday, but no action was taken.

The Council has been discussing reworking the ordinance since April because one of the problems the town has is people having excessive trash and other debris on their properties.

Council President Christina Archer said the Council is trying to find a way to come up with a refuse ordinance that is specific but not too specific and allows some flexibility. The question was how the Council could word the ordinance appropriately, make it easy to understand and allow some flexibility in the ordinance.

The current ordinance reads, in part: “It shall be unlawful for anyone to permit the dumping of refuse, junk of any kind, or piling of leaves, grass clippings, weeds or other similar piles of refuse, or to allow any such condition to remain on any lot or tract of land in the town and the allowance of such a condition to remain upon any lot or tract of land is hereby declared to be a nuisance.”

Councilman Tom Moore said the bulk of the ordinance that has been in place since 1982 is fine, but the Council needs to enhance the ordinance a little. Moore said Archer and town attorney Nick Jacobs have shared their thoughts on the rewording of the ordinance. He said he liked a combination of the words both Archer and Jacobs suggested. Some of the wording Jacobs used, Moore said, included having refuse “which are likely to be haven for feral cats” because it showed the issue was about public health.

Moore said he wanted to spend time to put together another draft together this week and send it out to Council members to look at.

Moore said he’d like to have Archer and Councilman Doug Jones continue to look over the ordinance because there’s wording about refusal removal. The current ordinance states “if the property owner after being dually notified, they do not comply,” then the town would remove the refuse, keep track of the expense of the removal and provide the property owner with an invoice of the expenses. If the charges are not paid, there is a lien and foreclosure process the town could use.

Jones and Moore discussed a fine structure for the ordinance.

Jones said he doesn’t want the town to get into the refuse removal business and wants there to be a way to get rid of the problem before the town has to remove anything. Moore said he doesn’t think that would happen entirely.

Archer said the Council should take a good look at the ordinance. She would like a whole package done before the Council looks at approving the new ordinance.

Archer said before the August meeting, the Council could make some notes on the ordinance and discuss those notes and come up with a final draft.

In other business, the Council:

• Learned from Archer she will have to submit updated revised estimates to K21 Health Foundation for the $200,000 grant for sidewalks on Van Buren Street.

• Discussed putting speed limit signs on Baseline Road.

Moore said, while the speed limit is 25 miles per hour on that road, some people have driven over 60 mph.

Street Commissioner Craig Charlton said he had some signs he will put up on Baseline Road.

• Reminded people a town ordinance states anyone under the age of 16 is not allowed to drive a golf cart in Leesburg.

• Scheduled a budget hearing for 6 p.m. Monday at Town Hall.