South Range ordinance enforcement moving forward

SOUTH RANGE — The village will see an increased focus on ordinance violation in the coming weeks as policies approved in late 2017 begin to be utilized.

The village council has been focusing on blight and dangerous building cleanup in the village and has made changes to make that possible. Previously ordinance violations were misdemeanors. Now those ordinance violations are identified as civil infractions after the village made changes to enable enforcement.

“We had the ordinance, (but) we had no means to address ordinances,” said village president Justin Marier.

Moving forward, the village will be addressing two or three streets at a time to avoid overload.

“If we attempt it all at once we’re going to get lost in a mess and I’m worried about staying on track with things,” he said.

The first set will be 6th and 7th streets along with Stanton Avenue which were selected due to shortness and proximity to the ballfield. Junk and dangerous buildings will be the main focus.

According to the ordinance policy if a violation is found and once it is documented a letter will be issued with a ten-day grace period after which a fine will be issued. Additional time may be requested under 20 days if granted by the village clerk.

Once the notice of violation is issued ten more days are granted to resolve the violation, if it’s not resolved a second violation form will be delivered with an additional fine. From there ten more days are granted before a violation citation is issued and the issue is turned over to the Houghton County District Court.

We’re trying to give everybody ample opportunity to clean up,” said Trustee Craig Paoli, noting that previous letters sent out in the fall saw good response.