Wednesday September 22, 2010
For Immediate Release:
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137/526-3622
Stephen Haag 574-1204/ 645-1752
On Thursday, September 23rd a list of 263 names of people and businesses will be formally published in the Courier Journal representing $17.801.068 owed Metro Government in fines for code violations.
“On July 1st, the Metro Council announced it would publish this list,” said Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin (D-2). “: We have given everyone ample time to pay up and clean up properties that have become eyesores in many areas of our community. Now it is time to shine the light on the biggest offenders in our city.”
There are 263 names on the list made up of individuals and businesses. The top fine amount is $64,773.00 the lowest is $12,052. 69. Two people owe more than $60,000 to Metro Government. Three people owe more than $40,000. Ten people owe more than $30,000. Fifty people owe more than $20,000. One hundred and ninety eight owe more than $12,000 in fines for code violations.
The Metro Council’s Community Affairs Committee first began looking into the problem of delinquent property owners earlier this year. The committee was responding to repeated complaints by citizens of property that was either abandoned or just not kept properly with junk and overgrown grass.
In many cases, the city places a lien on the property and then must maintain it by cutting grass or hauling junk away. The committee became concerned that taxpayer money was being spent on these properties in tough economic times.
“Too often, the owners of these properties hid behind the court system or foreclosure procedures and continued to delay and delay in doing what was right,” says Shanklin. “We on the Council are saying enough is enough. Pay your fines or keep your property clean that is all we are asking.”
The Metro Council, in a bi-partisan effort, passed an ordinance to pay for the published list. There were a total of 20 sponsors for the ordinance.
“This list is a first step our of efforts to reclaim taxes lost because of abandoned properties,” says Councilman Kelly Downard (R-16). “It is my hope that Metro Government can become a partner with neighborhood leaders, banks and developers in addressing this important issue and helping to find solutions that will improve everyone’s quality of life.”
The published list includes the names of at least 33 groups representing financial institutions, land trusts or LLC. The remainders are individual owners of property throughout Metro Louisville as of September 16, 2010.
While the list only shows the names, addresses and fines of violators, the public can go on line to find which properties have been cited and what code violations on each property. Go to the web site at www.louisvilleky.gov/ipl/ . Click on e customer service and follow the prompts you can see the details of the case, including Notices sent, Violations Cited, Penalties accessed and Penalties rescinded by the Code Enforcement Board.
“We will see how effect this approach will be in saving taxpayer dollars,” said Shanklin. “If another ad is needed in the future, we will consider it.”
Barbara Shanklin (D) 2
KellY Downard (R) 16