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City drops mandatory $50 fine for property offenses

September 14, 2012
By LEVI PASCHER , The Leader Herald

GLOVERSVILLE - The city is eliminating its minimum mandatory $50-per-day fine for property-maintenance offenses.

The fines for property-maintenance offenses have been punishable by a minimum fine of $50 and no more than $250, or possible imprisonment for up to 15 days.

The Common Council decided Tuesday to drop the mandatory $50 fine on a recommendation from City Attorney Anthony Casale. The city, however, still has the option of fining property owners up to $250 per day for failure to comply with court demands to fix code violations.

Casale wanted the city to eliminate the minimum mandatory fine to give the city more options when negotiating cases. The new structure will give the city attorney and City Court judge the right to allow property owners to fix their property problems without being forced to pay the mandatory fee of $50 per day.

Officials said the change will help with efforts to get property owners to comply with city codes.

"We want property owners to fix their houses," said Mayor Dayton King. "The previous fee didn't allow the court the option of granting conditional discharge."

The mayor gave the example that if the city asks a resident to paint his house and the resident complies, he won't be charged any fee, which previously was not an option, said King.

The fee only will be determined if the property owner doesn't comply with the demands of the court and city.

The city will retain the ability to charge a maximum fee of $250 per day if the property owner fails to comply.



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