Newell voters elected Ken Wetz over incumbent Mayor Mike Keolker, 149 to 31. 

FROM THE MAYOR

Last Updated: Friday, 16 March 2018

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From the Mayor:

Here are a couple ideas to ponder.  How do you handle these situations?

First, there are no ordinances.  You own some well maintained property and the person next door does absolutely nothing for maintenance but allows the property to become overgrown.  You notice an increase of critter, snakes and mice infestation on your property.  What do you do?  Remember  there are no ordinances.

I guess one of the solutions would be to talk to your neighbor.  Great!  Your neighbor tells you to go jump.  What then?

 Oh wait, the property is unoccupied and you don’t know the owners or how to contact them.  What then? 

Second, there are nuisance ordinances but there is no sure way of enforcing these ordinances. The same situation exists – neat property, messy property.  What do you do?  How do you get the situation resolved?

Same options as above.  

One of the solutions would be to talk to your neighbor.  Great!  Your neighbor tells you to go jump.  What then?

 Oh wait, the property is unoccupied and you don’t know the owners or how to contact them.  What then? 

Third, the ordinances are in place along with an ordinance enforcement person on staff.  What should be the steps?

Maybe talk to your neighbor and ask them to clean up.  Your neighbor tells you to go jump.  What next?  Contact the town and or the ordinance enforcement employee?  Probably.  This person’s responsibilities are to make an unbiased decision on whether a violation exists and to decide on the action to take.

Here’s what the ordinance office will do.  The officer will contact the violator and make them aware of the violation and request compliance.  If the owner is not in residence, the officer will research ownership and contact the owner, again, requesting compliance.

If there is no response or compliance the officer then contacts the violator and establishes a date for compliance or for compliance activities to commence.  This is all done in accordance with the notification requirements set forth in the ordinances.

Failure of the violator on all of these steps would then prompt the issuance of an administrative citation which would then require payment of a fine, which is appealable, and remediation of the violation.   The fine would be appealable to the Town Commission.  The decision of the commission may also be subject to judicial appeal as provided by law. 

Ordinance 2018-0101.02.02 AUTHORITY TO INSPECT  reads:

“Any code enforcement officer may enter upon any property and make any examination and surveys necessary to perform enforcement duties.  Inspections may include the taking of photographs, samples, or other physical evidence. 

If an owner, occupant or agent refuses permission to enter to inspect, the code enforcement officer may seek an administrative inspection warrant pursuant to the procedures provided for in South Dakota Codified Laws.

 

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