CENTERVILLE -- City Council heard a first reading Tuesday of an ordinance that will allow the city to deal with dilapidated properties.
The ordinance comes after months of hearing from residents about an abandoned and dilapidated home on Tumbleweed Circle. The measure will allow council to deal with the property and any similar dilapidated property within its borders in the future.
City officials said they have discovered the owners of the property are deceased, and there are no heirs wishing to take ownership.
The new ordinance, which will go into effect immediately if passed at the board’s next meeting on Feb. 7, outlines procedures that will let the city see to it that the property is cleaned up. The city will not take ownership of the property but will hold a lien against it to recoup expenses incurred in cleanup efforts.
Under the measure, if money from such properties cannot be generated to pay for cleanup, they can be foreclosed on by the city to recoup expenses.
In other business, council members were appointed to their sub-committee positions through a new random draw. Hereafter, the positions will change every two years through a predetermined rotation based on committee and City Council post.
The new appointments are:
Appropriations committee: Councilmen Cameron Andrews, chairman, and Jonathan Nichols, co-chairman;
Human resources committee: Councilman Ed Tucker, chairman, and Mayor John Harley, co-chairman;
Public safety committee: Nichols, chairman, and Tucker, co-chairman;
Public works and engineering committee: Councilman Randall Wright, chairman, and Andrews, co-chairman; and
Strategic planning committee: Harley, chairman, and Wright, co-chairman.
Also, the city’s police department was awarded a $10,000 small agency incentive grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. The money may be used in any way the department sees fit as long as it relates to traffic safety and enforcement. As such, it may be used for such items as speed detection lasers and patrol laptops.
Centerville police Capt. Roger Hayes presented the grant to council. Hayes also serves as the southwest Georgia law enforcement liaison officer for the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
Centerville’s police department serves as the lead agency of the 10-county Middle Georgia Traffic Enforcement Network.