by Michael Cummings
Hoping to review bids for the cleanup of the McCoy property in Hatfield, the Commissioners were empty-handed at their July 19 public hearing after both contractors who were invited to bid backed away from quoting the job.
Solid Waste Management District (SWMD) administrative assistant Tara Benton shared that both contractors cited professional relationships with a contractor who was already doing some work on the property and wanted to avoid any hard feelings between the parties involved.
Benton reported the property owner is working with a contractor to complete the required cleanup work without County intervention. The Commissioners, who first sent a letter about the maintenance issues back in December 2016, will revisit the issue at their next meeting, and SWMD planned to reinspect the property Monday (July 22).
The Commissioners also pursued a complaint about a vacant lot in St. Meinrad owned by Joyce Greenwood that had grown up with unkempt grass. After getting no response from a letter and a deadline that was imposed, SWMD staff inspected the property and saw no progress made.
At that point, staff called the owner, whose niece answered and vowed to take care of the issue. A subsequent inspection found the grass had been taken care of with the exception of one small patch. That patch may have been left because it was out of the reach of the goat that had been stationed on the property to graze down the overgrown lot.
Benton also pointed out the fact that the County’s ordinance about weed maintenance does not include commercial property. Existing language only covers industrial properties and those within 100 feet of a residence. SWMD has 13 complaints on such commercial properties. SWMD feels like they cannot pursue some complaints due to a lack of coverage under ordinance. The Commissioners approved modifying the ordinance to also include any property visible from a roadway. Attorney Jeff Lindsey plans to prepare a draft of the modification for consideration at the August 2 Commissioners meeting.