Brainerd Updates Property Maintenance Ordinance to Speed Up Handling Violations
The Brainerd City Council recently approved a change to a city ordinance with the goal of speeding up the process of combating property maintenance violations.
Previously, three citations were required before Safety & Public Works became involved with any violations, but this lengthened the process to handle some issues. Violations include unmowed lawns, snow not being cleared from sidewalks, and the presence of garbage and animal feces at a property.
Now, these violations can be handled by city staff immediately and have a fine assessed, starting at $100 and increasing with each violation. All city council members agreed on the essence of the ordinance but still differed on how fines are issued.
“I will be voting ‘no’ because there is no administrative citation dollar amount cap, and I do think that is necessary to protect the citizens from unreasonable fines,” said Gabe Johnson, Brainerd City Council Vice President. “You have 10 days to correct – if you don’t correct in 10 days, you get another citation. So if you get a citation on January 1st, and you don’t fix it every 10 days for the rest of the year, you’re going to be fined over $10,000 by the city.”
No council members besides Johnson commented on the change. The ordinance was passed by a final vote of 6-1.
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