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(A) For the purpose of this section, the following definition shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning:
RAT: Animals of the rodent family which are known to be dangerous to the health and safety of the community.
(B) It shall be unlawful for any person to maintain or permit the existence of rats anywhere within the city and it shall be unlawful for the owner, occupant or person in custody of any real property and any buildings therein to permit the same to become occupied by rats.
(C) 1. Whenever the building inspector or public works director shall be of the opinion that any real property or any building or structure therein is infested and occupied by rats, he or she shall file a written statement to this effect with the city clerk. The clerk thereupon shall cause written notice to be served upon the owner, occupant or person in custody of the real property or structure by registered mail or by personal service.
2. The notice shall state that the real property or building has been declared to be a hazard to the health and safety of the residents of the city because of the occupancy of the premises by rats and that the rats must be exterminated and that the extermination must be done at once.
(D) 1. If the person receiving notice has not complied therewith or taken appeal from the determination of the officer or employee finding the existence of rats therein within ten (10) days from service of notice by personal service or registered mail, the building inspector or public works director may proceed to arrange for the extermination of rats.
2. The costs and expenses of rat extermination shall be billed to the owner, occupant or person in custody of the premises and, if not paid within sixty (60) days, a lien shall be filed against property.
(E) 1. Any person violating any provisions of this section or permitting rats to remain on its premises, after receiving due notice thereof mentioned aforesaid, shall be subject to the penalty provided for violation of this code.
2. The penalty may be in addition to paying the cost of rat extermination. (Ord. 1962, 3-8-2011)