Clean up or pay up

No more notices, police will only issue citations for junk properties from now on


The City of Paris is making dumpsters available to residents April 26 and 27 to promote a citywide cleanup.

Detective Eric Brown encouraged all residents to take advantage of this assistance by removing accumulated junk around their homes to avoid citations and going to court later.

“The process in place is when an officer sees junk in a yard they will take photographs and give written notice to the resident to cleanup,” said Brown, adding the notice is a 10-day grace period allowing the resident time to correct the violation before a citation is issued. “That’s (the notice) a courtesy. We don’t have to give a notice. We can issue a citation upon seeing an infraction.”

Brown emphasized residents are now in the grace period until the April 26 and April 27 cleanup and during the interim officers will not give notices or citations for junk and trash violations in expectation residents are taking steps to cleanup by using the free dumpster service. This is the only grace period for 2019.

A new approach to code enforcement starts April 28.

“This is the notice,” Brown said about his interview with The Prairie Press. “After the cleanup date if we see trash or get complaints about a property, officers will go straight to writing citations.”

An ad in the March 30 issue of The Prairie Press explains how the Spring Fling City Wide Beautification works. This event is for Paris city residents and proof of residency will be required in order to leave material in the dumpsters.

Drop off time is 7 a.m.-7 p.m. April 26 and April 27 at the city’s facilities on South Shore Drive. The city reserves the right to refuse any items considered unacceptable.

Tires and consumer electronic devices like televisions are not allowed. Also prohibited are: household trash, concrete, bricks, demolition materials, roofing materials, railroad ties, 4 by 4 boards and hazardous materials like cleaning fluids, chemicals, paint and pesticides.

Residents can dispose of scrap metal during the cleanup. Appliances such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers are acceptable as are tire rims and other large pieces of metal. Acceptance of appliances like refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners are conditional upon the resident providing proof the fluorocarbon gasses used as a coolant were properly removed and recaptured.

Household items like clothing, furniture, small appliance and unused lumber that is less than two feet long are all acceptable for disposal. Automobile batteries will be accepted, but dry cell type batteries will not.

Residents are responsible for hauling all items they want to throw away to the location on South Shore Drive. The city is not providing a pickup service.

“We understand in the winter it is hard to get things done,” said Brown. “Spring is the time to get things cleaned up, and the city is doing everything it can to make it easy. I’d like to reach some people to let them know there is an alternative, and it is free.”

Brown again stressed the time between now and April 27 is the only grace period residents have for cleaning up accumulated junk on their properties.

“After this, it will be a citation without notice,” he said.

Getting a citation obligates the resident to make appearances in city court until the issue is resolved, cleaning the property at their own expense and it can result in fines.

“We would all like to see the town look better,” said Brown.