Ugly buildings are a big problem in this small city, according to one councilman. And he is seeking ordinances with stronger repercussions for those who do not maintain their property according to city codes.
"I'd like to make a motion to the council so that we can get some ordinances out there that will help us clean up these facilities. If these buildings are occupied, they need to be at code. If they are not, they need to at least clean up these buildings on the outside so they blend in with the rest," councilmember Bill Godwin said.
Not only did Godwin call for stricter ordinances, but he also asked for regular updates on their progress.
"I would like to make a motion that we do that and we get an update at every council meeting about what's going on," he said.
Godwin has long asked for tougher ordinances that would hold property owners responsible for dilapidated homes and overgrown yards. Under current ordinances, if the City has to cut the grass or make repairs, a lien can be placed on the property until the owner pays for the costs of those services. Tougher ordinances are something that has long been discussed at council meetings.
"I would like to get this done," he said. "I don't want to be sitting here next year saying the same thing again."
Even with a large rental population, Godwin said tougher ordinances are wanted by the majority of property owners in Tallassee.
"We tried this years ago," Godwin said. "It takes a mayor and a council. If people are against it, it won't happen because 99 percent of the people in this town want this. This is probably the best thing we can do."
With renovations soon beginning in the downtown area, Godwin is asking residents to exhibit more civic pride.
"All this other stuff is great, but when they see these houses start to get cleaned up. I'll give you an example, this pink house, all they have to do is paint the darn thing and it blends in with the rest of them. Is that asking the property owner too much," Godwin asked. "We need some strong ordinances. We don't need to be doing what we are doing today and cutting people's grass."
Godwin made a motion to collaborate with Andy Coker, the city building inspector, to come up with the necessary guidelines that would create more suitable ordinances.
"Whatever we have to do to put some teeth in this," Godwin said. "So, we can clean this town up. It's crazy, we're doing all this work downtown and every way you come in, look what you have to pass to get there."
Godwin asked the council to vote on the motion during the meeting.
"If we don't do it now, I'm not going to bring it up again. I'm tired of fooling with it," Godwin said.
The motion passed with all in favor of the measure.