County enforces nuisance rules

Published 6:10 pm Wednesday, June 24, 2009

By By Lisa Tindell
news editor

One area resident could soon feel the sting of a ordinance enforced by the Escambia County Commission and designed to keep the county clean.
George Roberson, who lives on U.S. 31 near Atmore, has been cited with violation of the county’s junk nuisance ordinance passed in 2007.
Escambia County Environmental Officer Nancy Barton issued a citation to Roberson at his home near Atmore on April 7, according to her testimony in a hearing before commissioners Monday.
Roberson did not attend Monday’s hearing.
Barton said Roberson was not at the residence when the citation was served, however she was able to have a discussion about the issue when he came to her office.
In the county's junk ordinance junk is defined as old or scrap copper, brass, rope, rags, batteries, paper trash, rubber debris, waste or junked, dismantled or wrecked automobiles or parts thereof, iron, steel or other old scrap ferrous or nonferrous materials. These items are clearly visible on Roberson's property, Barton said.
Barton said Roberson had a lot of debris on his property.
Barton produced a number of photographs that showed the debris located on the property that she said violates the ordinance.
County Attorney Thad Moore asked Barton if Roberson had made any efforts to clean up any of the junk or debris on the property since being served with the citation.
In her testimony, Barton said the original notice served on April 7 was followed with a certified mail notice April 8. Subsequent visits by Roberson to her office were made on April 16 and 21, but Roberson has not made efforts to correct the situation, prompting further action from county officials.
After Roberson was served notice of being in violation of the ordinance, Barton said he did acquire a junkyard license.
Barton said the license Roberson acquired would not allow him to maintain junk on his property in its current state.
Commission Chairman David Stokes said the commission would allow Roberson a reasonable amount of time to correct the situation before imposing fines for the violation.
Commissioners agreed the notice and implementation of fines following a reasonable clean-up time was fair.
If Roberson fails to comply with the citation, he can be charged fines of up to $5,000 plus fines of administrative fees.
A suggestion by Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith to deliver a certified copy of the results of the hearing was considered and approved by commissioners.
In other business, the commission:

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