FORTY FORT -- The owner of a vacant property on Welles Street pleaded with council Monday to put a hold on the $1,000-a-day fine he is being charged for numerous code violations.
David Braithwaite who owns the property at 50 Welles St., said he is trying his best to fix up his property but needs more time.
“I know it’s been a long time, and it’s been an eyesore,” he said. “But is there nothing I can do to stop it from coming?” he asked, referring to the fine.
Council President Joseph Chacke said the nuisance property has been an issue for several years, and that council has given him enough time to address the problems.
“At times you made progress, and at times you fell by the wayside,” he said. “But we also have other residents and taxpayers to consider.”
He told Braithwaite that council would take his comments into consideration; however, the $1,000-a-day fine will continue until the violations are corrected. Code Enforcement Officer Steve Nowroski said the issue was brought before a district judge and he cut Braithwaite’s outstanding fines of $23,000 in half.
In another matter, Chacke told Shade tree Commission Chairperson Carol Seltzer that he received a complaint from a resident that she threw sod, dirt and grass, which she dug out from a tree lawn, onto the resident’s front lawn. Seltzer denied the accusation, stating that she had disposed of it properly.
Chacke also told Seltzer that she is prohibited from planting flowers on a tree lawn, which is part of a vacant lot on Murray Street. He pointed out that a recently enacted ordinance allows only grass to be planted on tree lawns.
“We appreciate all your hard work, but please don’t dig out any more tree lawns, because it’s going to cause us more headaches,” he said.
Seltzer defended her actions. “No, I don’t think you appreciate anything,” she said.
In other business, council voted:
• To adopt an ordinance amending parking on Welles Street, between Wyoming Avenue and Elizabeth Street, from parking on the north side to parking on the south side.
• To increase the part-time borough clerk’s wages from $9 to $10 per hour for expanded responsibilities and hours.
In an effort to improve response time to fires, council announced that Kingston will loan a fire truck to the borough, which will be housed in the borough garage.
Council also announced that a Family Fun Night would be held Saturday, Aug.15 at the borough pool from 6 to 9 p.m.