Gary hopes to speed up the reimbursement process for cleaning private property with a new ordinance

GARY — A proposed ordinance would allow Gary to recover the cost of cleaning up private property through liens.

“All you’re looking to do is get the city reimbursed for what we’re already doing,” City Attorney Angela Lockett explained during a Common Council meeting Tuesday night.

The current reimbursement process can take a long time because it involves the Gary City Court, Lockett explained. Funds recovered also go to the Unsafe Building Act fund, which has specific uses. Under the proposed ordinance, the refunded money would go into the city’s general fund.

Lockett said owners would have 10 to 60 days to correct the problem before the city cleans up the property.

“I think we need to speed up that process. People want to see services delivered and delivered conveniently,” said Councilor Ron Brewer, D-at-large. I don’t care because they’ve taken the ‘this is Gary, I can do it and get away with it’ mentality. We have to change things.”

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The city already uses levies to reimburse costs accrued from mowing private property, Lockett said.

Councilor Clorius Lay, D-at-large, raised concerns about removing the city court from the process. He asked to defer action on the ordinance until a meeting with City Court Judge Deidre Monroe present.

The council voted to discuss the ordinance during a Ways and Means Committee meeting on December 13 at 5:30 p.m.

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