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Linden residents complain about abandoned car ordinance

A resident complained July 1 to the Linden City Council concerning the city ordinance on abandoned automobiles.

Essie Richardson complained that the city is going after property owners who don’t have the financial ability to pay fines and court costs.

….It is wrong to prosecute and fine a person. We don’t have adequate income to pay these fines."

Richardson was being fined because she had not removed what were termed as abandonded cars from her property, said City Administrator Cheryl Hall. Richardson said she was supposed to be in court on July 18.

The Linden ordinance states that "partially dismantled, nonoperating, wrecked, junked or discarded vehicles" should remain on a property no longer than 72 hours, unless it is in an enclosed building or storage place, or on the premises of a business enterprise.

Mayor Pat Vice said he would have the city administrator and City Attorney Alex Braswell look into the matter. "Your particular case I’m not familiar with," Vice said. "I will become familiar with it, and I will work with you to eleviate the problem….If you go ahead and get rid of them (the vehicles) there’ll be no charges." Since the case has already moved through the court process, Richardson will at least have to pay court costs, Hall said July 2.

Another resident, Leroy Fisher, also complained about the ordinance at the meeting. He said two of the three vehicles on his property do run, and his property is fenced in. Vice said within the city corporate limits, it didn’t matter if the property was fenced.

Hall said that some 75 abandoned cars had been removed from the Linden city limits in the last year.