Scott Gay is now on our Economic Development committee. He indicated that our Code Enforcement needs to invest more time by agressivly going after delapadated and unsafe structures. These Structures need to be removed or repaired. Apparently there is an ordinance that was done in the 1990’s that addresses this issue and the Town Staff will pull those Chapters.
Joe advised me that the Ordinance for the Land Development Reglations is 98-01 and was required by the State of Florida. We then cut and pasted Gainesville’s LDR and used it as ours having to pay the North Florida Planning Commission some $7000, but never used that ordinance when it came to the three buildings owned by Harris until Scott Gay purchased the property and removed the three buildings which were dilapadated to the point of being dangerous. Nothing was done for 20 years and we never followed our regulations.
Scott Gay feels that those with vacant houses need to comply and pay some sort of fees so that something will be done, since no taxes are paid. Stacy Tebo indicated we did not need a magistrate to handle the situation but the Council could act as a magistrate.
There could be many ways of handling the situation including charging for sewer and water piping and one area Joe Griffin had discussed previously was charging a Fire Assessment, which would assist the Fire Department, especially now since we are purchasing a Fire Engine which most likely has no one to man it. The ISO requires four (4) firefighters to man a Fire Engine and the County’s contract stipulated two (2) for which they would secure two (2) from another department to fight a fire.
There are 477 parcels of land in White Springs which would generate $47,700 if each would be charged an assessment of $100.00 each. The alternative is to increase the millage rate by .003 per $1,000 of property values. Based upon $15,272,047.59 in approximate property values this would generate $45,816. But these Fire Assessment funds could only be used for the Fire Department.
Something needs to be done and it is time the Council did something to change the face of White Springs and force owners who are allowing their properties to not be repaired or maintained to either remove them or sell the properties if they are charged money and are required to do something in accordance with the LDR.
Karin for the blog