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(A) In any case where public complaints have been received by the City Police Department or the Building and Planning Department, or where a city official or employee has observed a situation, condition or circumstance which may constitute a nuisance identified in §§ 92.01 or 92.02 of this chapter, it shall be the duty of the City Building Inspector and/or City Police Department to investigate whether a nuisance exists. If such investigation leads the person investigating such situation, condition or circumstance to believe a nuisance exists, such person shall report such findings to the City Building and Planning Department, whereupon the Building Inspector shall issue a notice to abate a public nuisance to the offending party or parties. In addition, if such circumstance, condition or situation constitutes a violation of other provisions of this code, the current circumstance, condition or situation may also be cited as a separate violation. While a notice to abate shall allow the owner, occupant or responsible party or parties a reasonable amount of time to remove or eliminate the nuisance, the notice shall identify the date by which the nuisance must be abated. It shall not be necessary for the notice to identify the manner in which any nuisance shall be abated unless it is deemed advisable to do so.
(B) If the owner, occupant or responsible party or parties so notified to abate a nuisance shall refuse or neglect to abate such nuisance within the designated time after such notice is given, such person shall be subject to the penalties provided in § 92.99 of this chapter. In addition, such failure or refusal shall be reported to the City Board of Public Works and Safety which may authorize city personnel or a city contractor to enter upon the property where the nuisance exists to abate such nuisance in any manner authorized by law including, but not limited to, impoundment, removal and disposal, spraying, cutting or mowing, demolition and the institution of litigation against the offending party or parties for the purpose of obtaining an appropriate court order and/or for the purpose of collecting the costs of abatement. In addition, the city may take steps to file a lien against the property with the County Recorder, after the city has abated a nuisance, and the city may enforce the lien as allowed in division (C) below.
(C) (1) Pursuant to I.C. 36-1-6-2, if the city, by its employees or contractors, has taken action to abate a nuisance and bring real property into compliance with this chapter, the city may issue a bill to the owner of the real estate for the costs incurred by the city in bringing the property into compliance with this chapter, including administrative costs and removal costs. Subject to division (E) below, if the owner fails or refuses to pay the billed amount with 30 days after the date of the issuance of the bill, the bill shall be considered delinquent.
(2) Thereafter, the City Clerk-Treasurer shall prepare a list or an instrument listing the name or names of the owner or owners of each lot or parcel of real property on which fees are delinquent, a description of the premises, as shown on the records of the County Auditor, and the amount of the delinquent fees and the penalty.
(3) Such list or instrument shall be recorded with the County Recorder and shall constitute a lien against the real property listed. The amount of the lien shall be placed on the tax duplicate by the County Auditor. The total amount, including accrued interest, shall be collected in the same manner as delinquent taxes are collected and shall be disbursed to the city’s General Fund, with the exception that collected abatement costs associated with abating weeds and neglected vegetation by mowing shall be deposited into the city’s Park and Recreation Fund.
(D) The requirement for service of notice under the provisions of divisions (A) and (B) above shall be deemed met by posting a copy of the notice to abate a public nuisance in a prominent place or location on a residence, building or vacant lot where such nuisance exists. The notice shall also be served upon the record owner of the real estate, where a nuisance exists, at the last known address of the record owner as shown in the County Assessor’s office, by first class U.S. mail, postage prepaid and by certified mail, return receipt requested.
(E) Any person notified to abate a nuisance may dispute same by appealing such notice to the City Board of Public Works and Safety on or before the deadline to abate the nuisance. In the case of an appeal of a demand for reimbursement of abatement costs, such appeal shall be made on or before the date on which reimbursement is due. An appeal shall be in writing and filed with the City Building and Planning Department, which shall cause the matter to be heard at the first available City Board of Public Works and Safety meeting. At the hearing, the Building Inspector shall present the facts relied upon in determining a nuisance existed or shall present evidence regarding costs of abatement and the method utilized to abate the nuisance, depending upon the nature of the appeal. The party appealing a notice to abate or a notice to reimburse costs of abatement shall then be given an opportunity to present evidence in support of such appeal. At the conclusion of such hearing, the City Board of Public Works and Safety shall deliberate and determine whether such notice appealed should be upheld or reversed. The decision of the City Board of Public Works and Safety shall be final, subject only to filing for judicial review with the Circuit Court within 30 days of the decision of the City Board of Public Works and Safety.
(Prior Code, § 92.03) (Ord. 2010-5, passed 7-6-2010; Ord. 2012-6, passed 7-3-2012; Ord. 2018-6, passed 2-20-2018)