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Proposed Lavallette Ordinance Would Allow Borough to Maintain Neglected Properties

Lavallette Borough Hall (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Lavallette Borough Hall (Photo: Daniel Nee)

An ordinance pending in Lavallette would allow the borough to perform work on neglected properties in town, including yard maintenance and similar projects.

“Some have been quite a problem for us,” said Mayor Walter LaCicero, referring to unkempt properties. “We don’t really have a mechanism to take care of the problem ourselves.”

The ordinance, which was introduced last week and will be the subject of a public hearing and second vote at another meeting later this month, would grant the borough power to go on private properties to perform minor work to maintain the lot. It would not allow borough employees or contractors to enter properties. After work is performed, the borough would place a lien on the property so the cost of the work can be recouped. Examples of the type of work that would be performed includes lawn mowing, brush and weed removal, tree stump maintenance and debris removal.

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Borough officials said their intent is to keep their own properties neat as well, as part of the effort.

“When I first read this proposal, I thought it was incumbent upon the borough to do so,” said Councilman James G. Borowski. “We’re going to follow our own ordinances as well, even though we’re not obligated to do so, from what I’ve heard.”

Borough Administrator John O. Bennett said state law allows municipal employees to enter the interior of a property only if there is something in the property that is a “threat to health or public welfare.”

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