Blacksburg leaders tackle nuisance properties with fines, penalties, jail time

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BLACKSBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Blacksburg city leaders are cracking down on nuisance properties and they are ready to use every resource to clean up their town.

The movement is part of the city’s effort to revitalize downtown.

“Please for your safety no trespassing” reads the back door of an abandoned building in the heart of the city. However, the Police Chief says that’s not keeping anyone out.

“Anytime you have unrestricted entrances into a building people that use drugs they could go in there and they are out of sight of law enforcement,” Chief Jamie Ham told 7News.

Chief Ham says the building is an eyesore and a breeding ground for criminal activity.

After numerous complaints, the Interim City Administrators, City Council members, and the Police Department decided to address nuisance properties.

In July more than 40 property owners received a letter from the city giving them 14 days to make necessary changes.

“What we are asking for [is] action by the owner to make the property safe,” Ham said. “Not only from a structural standpoint but from sanitation with the vegetation growth. It’s obvious there are rats and snakes.”

The Interim Administrator Laura Foster says most property owners have complied with the city’s request.

“We still have some… it’s probably the ones that live out of town, that don’t really worry about their neighbors, that haven’t done anything,” Foster told 7News.

Those who don’t comply could be penalized under a city ordinance, that wasn’t previously being enforced.

“It needs to be known that this time it’s going to be criminally prosecuted,” Chief Ham told 7News. “So it’s a $500 dollar fine of 30 days in jail.”

If you know of a nuisance property in Blacksburg that needs to be addressed, you are asked to file a complaint with the Police Department.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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