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Wauseon proposes tougher junk-car ordinance

WAUSEON - Junk cars that don't run don't belong on Wauseon streets or in yards, agree village council members.

Council passed the first reading last night of an ordinance that will toughen and make more uniform the city's junk vehicle law.

The amendment provides that inoperable vehicles cannot stand on streets or lots for more than seven days once owners are cited.

Law Director Jeffrey Robinson said the city does not have a great problem with junk cars but needs uniformity in the law. “In the most recent 30-to-60-day period that junk cars were removed, we found 80-some vehicles left on the street or on property, that were junk, not operable,” Mr. Robinson said.

The existing law prohibited junk cars on the streets. The amended ordinance provides for court authority to order the impoundment of non-running cars and more uniform prosecution remedies.

“A vehicle owner cannot have a vehicle standing idle, without a permit that they are working on it,” Mr. Robinson said. A permit for repair or restoration is available for $5.

The ordinance, which passed a first reading, spells out remedies by law if a person leaves a dismantled or non-operating vehicle on street or property for more than seven days after inspection and court order.

Owners can be called to appear in court and ordered to comply in seven days. “If an owner doesn't comply, we can file a criminal complaint, tow the vehicle, and it will be sold,” Mr. Robinson said. The ordinance, if adopted, will allow the court to fine owners $250 and order them to pay all costs associated with the impoundment.

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