City ordinance upsets residence in effort to clean-up city

Local News

MARMET, W.Va. (WOWK) – A six-year-old city ordinance is coming out from the shadows in a joint effort to re-beautify the city.

The ordinance prohibits nuisances within a town; nuisances like furniture, appliances, trash, and predominantly unregistered/not inspected vehicles.

Code reinforcement by the Marmet Police Department is in conjunction with Kanawha County’s Spring clean-up initiative, but some residents said they were taken off guard by this.

Marmet City Councilman, Johnny Walker said, “One family, in particular, the gentleman’s wife passed away and her vehicle has been sitting in front of their house and was tagged to be towed and it has sentimental value.”

Walker is talking about James Halstead, who is 89 years old and widowed. He still has his late wife’s ’88 Lincoln Town Car parked on the right side of his house. He received a bright orange violation notice slip tucked under his windshield wiper a few days ago.

“Well, I didn’t even know they were on there. They just came out and stuck them on my property, so I took a scrapper and scrapped them all off,” said James.

As a taxpayer, James feels this is an invasion of his property and rights.

“They’re not telling me nothing. I’m 89 years old and I don’t have too much longer to be here anyways,” said James.

These new efforts are completely legal and set the mission to “Make Marmet Beautiful again,” according to Marmet Police Chief, John Perrine.

To date, residents who have been given notice have been fairly compliant to the ordinance rules, but they still are upset with the surprise.

Walker said these recent efforts could have been better communicated with council members and the residents.

“The way it’s been handled, personally myself as a councilman, I just feel like the residents and actually the council should have been forwarned before we started putting notices on vehicles. Myself, council and residents are all for cleaning our town up,” said Walker.

When it comes to unregistered/not inspected vehicles, if it’s on public property, you will receive one notice and have five days to move it. If the vehicle is on private property but visible publicly, you will receive three notices and have 30 days to comply or your right to a public hearing.

WOWK 13 News obtained a copy of the Nuisance Prohibited Within Town ordinance which is embedded below.

The City of Marmet encourages anybody else who still has questions and concerns regarding the ordinance to call city hall.

The ordinance is also posted on the city’s website.

Tonight the city council reconvenes for its monthly meeting at 7:30.

This item is not listed on the agenda but council members suspect this to be the heated topic of the night for public comment.

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