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PC enforces ordinances to improve aesthetics, safety

Change is coming in Phil Campbell. PC Police Chief Jessica Clements has been working to spread the word about town ordinances that, although they have been largely ignored for a time, will soon be enforced.

“The ordinances have been in effect for several years,” said Mayor Mike McQuary. “It’s just that they will now be enforced in order to help clean up our town.

“Chief Clements has been going door-to-door handing out fliers to inform people that we will be enforcing the ordinances. If they are not in compliance, they will have time to get in compliance,” McQuary added. “These fliers are not citations – just a courtesy from the town to let our citizens know what will be going on.”

Clements said overgrown yards, excessive inoperable vehicles and main street businesses that are not up to code will be the focus.

“To clarify, one or two inoperable vehicles in a driveway is not the problem,” Clements noted. “The issue is when there are multiple inoperable vehicles and knee-high grass and weeds that need to be cut.

“No one is being singled out.”

The Phil Campbell Police Department posted a screenshot of Ordinance No. 100 in a Facebook post July 23. It is described as “an ordinance defining nuisances, establishing a procedure for the abatement of nuisances and providing penalties for violation of its provisions.”

Matters addressed in the ordinance include covered structures, “automobile graveyards,” commercial property, discarded household furnishings, garbage, hazardous plant nuisance, improved subdivision and inoperable vehicles.

“I am pleased the ordinances will be enforced,” said Phil Campbell resident Cherri Trantham. “This will help increase community pride and promote better property values. Currently, some houses have so many non-working vehicles they look like junkyards or used car lots.”

Clements said the goal is to maintain property aesthetics and increase quality of life for everyone in town. She said diligent enforcement of city ordinances will take place, with a focus on safety and improving the overall appearance of the community by working with the citizens to effect positive change.

“We also need everyone’s help to get rid of the litter on the side of the roads,” added Clements. “It has gotten out of hand, and it’s not just one person’s responsibility to keep it clean.

“It’s going to take a lot of people working together to get Phil Campbell back to the beautiful town we know it can be.”

According to the Phil Campbell Police Department Facebook page, those found to be in violation of a city ordinance will be notified by mail. For non-hazardous violations, the first letter sent will be a courtesy notice with a listed deadline for when the issue needs to be corrected. If the issue is not corrected by the given date, a citation will be issued with a fine not to exceed $1,000.

Anyone who receives such a letter may contact the Phil Campbell Police Department at 205-993-5313 with any questions.

The police department stated in a Facebook comment that the ordinance enforcement will include property the town is responsible for and that such situations will be given the same amount of time to come into compliance.

“The goal is to have our citizens voluntarily abate violations without taking further enforcement action,” said Clements.

Those with questions or opinions to share are encouraged to attend the city council meetings, which are held on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 7 p.m. at city hall.

To report a violation or for additional information, contact city hall at 205-993-5313.