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(A) This section is adopted pursuant to I.C. 36-7-10.1 pertaining to weeds and other rank vegetation. The provisions and remedies in this section are in addition to the provisions and remedies provided in § 91.01 herein.
(B) No person shall allow any weeds, grass or vegetation to grow to a height 12 inches from the ground on any real property owned, leased or controlled by him within the Town of Newburgh, Indiana. All weeds, grass, and rank vegetation in an excess of 12 inches are hereby declared to be a public nuisance and may be abated in accordance with the law.
(C) For purposes of this section, weeds and rank vegetation shall be deemed to include any undesirable, uncultivated plant including weeds, grass and vegetation, but shall not include agricultural crops, such as hay and pasture.
(D) Whenever the Building Commissioner finds weeds, grass, or rank vegetation on real property within the Town of Newburgh, Indiana which is in such a condition as to violate this section, the Town of Newburgh may issue written notice to the property owner ordering the property owner to remove the weeds, grass, or rank vegetation within ten days of receipt of the notice. Notice shall be served by certified mail upon the property owner at said person's last address as indicated on the records of the Warrick County Auditor on the date of the notice, with a first class letter sent on the same date. Notice shall be deemed complete and received upon mailing.
(1) In the event the property owner fails to remove the weeds, grass, or rank vegetation, as required in the written notice, the Building Commissioner may issue to the property owner, a citation for an ordinance violation which states the relevant offenses of the ordinance, and the matter may be prosecuted in the appropriate court by the Town Attorney.
(2) In addition, if the property owner fails to remove the weeds, grass, or rank vegetation, as required in the written notice, the Town of Newburgh, through its own workforce or through a private contractor hired by the Town of Newburgh, may enter the real property and abate the violation by cutting and removing the weeds, grass, or rank vegetation. The expense thereof shall be billed to the property owner. If the property owner fails to pay such bill within ten days from the date of notice (which notice shall be served as provided in division (D) above), the Town of Newburgh will certify to the Warrick County Auditor the amount of the bill, plus any additional administrative costs incurred in the certification. The Auditor shall thereafter place the total amount certified on the tax duplicate for the property affected, and the total amount (which may include, without limitation, fees for title searches and postage), and any accrued interest, shall be collected as delinquent taxes are collected, and shall be disbursed to the general fund of the Town of Newburgh, Indiana. The cost billed to the property owner under this section shall include all actual costs incurred by the Town of Newburgh, Indiana, including without limitation, the cost of a private contractor should one be used or the actual cost per hour or any labor spent by town employees in abating the nuisance, equipment and supply costs, the cost of any title or other record search and the cost of all postage, plus an administrative fee equal to 2% of the total of such costs.
(3) If an initial notice of violation of this section is provided to a property owner by certified mail and first class mail as provided herein, a continuous abatement notice may be posted at the property at the time of abatement instead of by certified mail or first class mail. A continuous abatement notice serves as notice to the property owner that any subsequent violation during the same year for which the initial notice of violation was provided may be abated by the Town of Newburgh or its contractors without need of further notice to the property owner. For purposes of this section continuous enforcement order may also be identified as a continuous abatement notice as that term is used in I.C. 36-7-10.1.
(E) Any property owner that is aggrieved by a notice to abate or a bill submitted following failure to comply, may appeal. Such appeal shall be made in writing and shall be delivered personally to the Town of Newburgh at Newburgh Town Hall, within not more than ten days from the date the notice or bill was received. The Newburgh Town Council may, but is not required to, conduct a hearing on request of an aggrieved person pursuant to this section.
(F) Any person found to be in violation of one or more requirements of this section shall be subject to a fine of $100. Each day a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. Said fine shall be in addition, and without exclusion to any other remedies and/or penalties provided herein.
(Ord. 2019-2, passed 5-22-2019)