Mayor, codes enforcement officer talk junk car ordinance

The next ordinance to be presented before the Middlesboro City Council during this month’s meeting will be the junk car ordinance.

“The junk cars are a big problem too,” said Middlesboro Mayor Rick Nelson.

According to Codes Enforcement Officer Tim Kelley, the codes board will be added to the new ordinance to be able to be involved with the violations.

“We are going to add that in this new ordinance,” he said. “We will be able to write administrative violations and that is the only thing that the Codes Enforcement Board can hear.”

Kelley explained that the board cannot hear any criminal violations.

“Any misdemeanors or that kind of stuff does not apply to the Codes Enforcement Board and still has to be taken to District Court,” he explained of the violations. “We are changing the nuisance code to where abandoned vehicles can be towed and they can be…enforced by the enforcement board.”

Kelley said that they can still be fined, but they are changing the verbiage in the ordinance.

“As it is written right now the mayor, chief of police, and a police officer can have a vehicle towed,” he explained. “The new ordinance will include the powers for the codes enforcement office to direct a vehicle be towed, stored and disposed of as required by Kentucky Law.”

According to Kelley, that was one thing that they wanted to put in the ordinance and change it to administrative violations where they could be handled by the board.

“We wanted to put it to where if I know it’s a problem with a vehicle then I can call the towing outfit and have it towed, but I don’t have that power today,” Kelley said. “I will when the new ordinance is passed.”

“People may not realize we’ve got about 7,000 structures,” Nelson said “But I’ll be honest with you, the abandoned cars may be in people’s minds an equal problem.”

Nelson said that this ordinance is not being mean to any individual, but they are just trying to clean up the community.

“Most people want it cleaned up,” Nelson said.

If you would like to talk more about the Codes Enforcement Board and the work that they do for the City, you can visit City Hall Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.