City changes ‘courtesy’ policy

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 3, 2011

No more Mr. Nice Guy.

That’s the message the Andalusia City Council is sending those who are perpetually lax about cleaning up their property.

At present, the city’s policy is to have its abatement officer, Jim Locklier, send a courtesy letter asking a landowner to clean up his or her property. If no action is taken as a result of the letter, the city begins the abatement process, in which it demands action. Property owners have a limited amount of time in which to comply, or the city will have the property cleaned and bill the landowner.

After Locklier told council members that there are landowners who are “on” to the process, which can take weeks, Mayor Earl Johnson told Locklier, “You ain’t gotta be so courteous all of the time.”

Henceforth, the mayor and council agreed, if a property owner has been notified by letter or through the abatement process before, Locklier no longer has to take the courtesy letter step.

“Let’s speed this up,” Johnson said.

The council agreed to abate seven pieces of property which are overgrown, including:

• 500 Auburn Ave.

• 203 Railroad Ave.

• 200 Scherf Drive

• 304 Cawthon

• 213 Allen Ave.

• 208 Donald St.

• 118 Falkenberry

The council also:

• Agreed to contribute $5,000 toward the purchase of a new sign at Andalusia High School.

• Learned it received a $154,000 low-interest loan from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs for installing new, energy-efficient lighting at Johnson Park.

• Agreed to include reworking an engine in scheduled work on a firetruck. The truck recently was damaged in a wreck on East Three Notch Street. The repairs, estimated at $84,000, are expected to take three months.