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Inoperable Vehicle Ordinance finally approved

Pulaski Town Council voted to approve a new Inoperable Vehicle Ordinance Tuesday, but not without further disagreement over what it should say.
It appeared as though council had reached an agreement regarding the ordinance requirements at the Sept. 1 meeting when council members voted to have the town’s attorney draw up an ordinance based on council’s answers to a series of questions.
Town Attorney David Warburton said during a Tuesday work session, “I took the motion passed at the last meeting and did the best I could” to provide an ordinance containing “what I believed passed last time.”
However, it became apparent Tuesday there still is some disagreement over the ordinance, which is intended to help fight blight within the town.
The primary area of disagreement centers around who should be exempted from the requirements of the ordinance.
Councilmen Morgan Welker and Joel Burchett Jr. want the ordinance to be more restrictive on commercial establishments, while Councilmen Larry Clevinger and H. M. Kidd do not want to place any more restrictions on businesses than necessary.
“Businesses are businesses and that means more jobs and growth. The more we have the better off we are,” Kidd said in response to suggestions the ordinance on the table Tuesday is too lenient on commercial establishments.
Burchett said he agrees with Kidd, but “within reason.” However, he questioned how the town could “let businesses keep cars sitting around rusting,” but not let the public do it. He said he would like to see the town “pursue more businesses” with the ordinance.
Clevinger said he thinks making the ordinance stricter on commercial establishments would just serve to restrict people from starting businesses in town.
Welker said his main concern is wording within the ordinance exempting “a commercial entity or person, possessing a current business license issued by the town, regularly engaged in the business of a) automobile sales or service; b) salvage or scrap processing; or c) motor vehicle repair, restoration or painting.”
He said “anybody can get a business license. I could do a little work in the evening and pile up any amount of vehicles I want. I see no reason to exempt any more businesses than we have to.” He questioned why any exemptions are needed other than those required by state code.
Councilman Robert Bopp said he has a problem with including inoperable “trailers” in the ordinance because some businesses need them for storage. He said he thinks the ones already being used should be exempted from the ordinance, but no new ones should be allowed.
Police Chief Gary Roche said he has had problems enforcing the old ordinance in the past due to the ordinance using the term “commercial” and the town’s zoning ordinance using the word “business” to define zoning districts.
However, Warburton said the only solution to that problem would be to amend the zoning ordinance to establish “commercial” districts rather than “business” districts because state code requires “commercial” to be used in ordinances pertaining to inoperable vehicles.
“Personally, I think (the ordinance) is good as it’s written,” said Mayor Jeff Worrell. “It’s what we asked for.”
He said he thinks it is important to get a new ordinance passed so town police will have a way to deal with the “hundreds of cars sitting on properties” in the town.
He questioned whether council is just “splitting hairs” or “trying to reinvent the wheel.” If some of the concerns council members expressed are determined to be problems after the ordinance is passed, he said the ordinance could be revisited.
“We’ve debated this for a number of months and meanwhile, cars are out there rusting to the ground,” he said, referring to several hundred photographs Roche provided of inoperable vehicles currently dotting the landscape.
However, Welker said, “if we don’t make (changes he recommended), there will be several instances in the town we won’t be able to do anything about. If we find a loophole” in the ordinance prior to its adoption, “we need to take care of it before” passing the ordinance.
A motion by Welker to adopt the ordinance with the inclusion of his recommended changes failed in a 3-4 vote, with Worrell casting the tiebreaking vote. Voting in favor of the motion was Welker, Burchett and Vice Mayor Dave Clark.
A subsequent motion by Clevinger to adopt the ordinance as written passed 4-2. Only Welker and Bopp cast dissenting votes.

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Inoperable Vehicle Ordinance finally approved

Pulaski Town Council voted to approve a new Inoperable Vehicle Ordinance Tuesday, but not without further disagreement over what it should say.
It appeared as though council had reached an agreement regarding the ordinance requirements at the Sept. 1 meeting when council members voted to have the town’s attorney draw up an ordinance based on council’s answers to a series of questions.
Town Attorney David Warburton said during a Tuesday work session, “I took the motion passed at the last meeting and did the best I could” to provide an ordinance containing “what I believed passed last time.”
However, it became apparent Tuesday there still is some disagreement over the ordinance, which is intended to help fight blight within the town.
The primary area of disagreement centers around who should be exempted from the requirements of the ordinance.
Councilmen Morgan Welker and Joel Burchett Jr. want the ordinance to be more restrictive on commercial establishments, while Councilmen Larry Clevinger and H. M. Kidd do not want to place any more restrictions on businesses than necessary.
“Businesses are businesses and that means more jobs and growth. The more we have the better off we are,” Kidd said in response to suggestions the ordinance on the table Tuesday is too lenient on commercial establishments.
Burchett said he agrees with Kidd, but “within reason.” However, he questioned how the town could “let businesses keep cars sitting around rusting,” but not let the public do it. He said he would like to see the town “pursue more businesses” with the ordinance.
Clevinger said he thinks making the ordinance stricter on commercial establishments would just serve to restrict people from starting businesses in town.
Welker said his main concern is wording within the ordinance exempting “a commercial entity or person, possessing a current business license issued by the town, regularly engaged in the business of a) automobile sales or service; b) salvage or scrap processing; or c) motor vehicle repair, restoration or painting.”
He said “anybody can get a business license. I could do a little work in the evening and pile up any amount of vehicles I want. I see no reason to exempt any more businesses than we have to.” He questioned why any exemptions are needed other than those required by state code.
Councilman Robert Bopp said he has a problem with including inoperable “trailers” in the ordinance because some businesses need them for storage. He said he thinks the ones already being used should be exempted from the ordinance, but no new ones should be allowed.
Police Chief Gary Roche said he has had problems enforcing the old ordinance in the past due to the ordinance using the term “commercial” and the town’s zoning ordinance using the word “business” to define zoning districts.
However, Warburton said the only solution to that problem would be to amend the zoning ordinance to establish “commercial” districts rather than “business” districts because state code requires “commercial” to be used in ordinances pertaining to inoperable vehicles.
“Personally, I think (the ordinance) is good as it’s written,” said Mayor Jeff Worrell. “It’s what we asked for.”
He said he thinks it is important to get a new ordinance passed so town police will have a way to deal with the “hundreds of cars sitting on properties” in the town.
He questioned whether council is just “splitting hairs” or “trying to reinvent the wheel.” If some of the concerns council members expressed are determined to be problems after the ordinance is passed, he said the ordinance could be revisited.
“We’ve debated this for a number of months and meanwhile, cars are out there rusting to the ground,” he said, referring to several hundred photographs Roche provided of inoperable vehicles currently dotting the landscape.
However, Welker said, “if we don’t make (changes he recommended), there will be several instances in the town we won’t be able to do anything about. If we find a loophole” in the ordinance prior to its adoption, “we need to take care of it before” passing the ordinance.
A motion by Welker to adopt the ordinance with the inclusion of his recommended changes failed in a 3-4 vote, with Worrell casting the tiebreaking vote. Voting in favor of the motion was Welker, Burchett and Vice Mayor Dave Clark.
A subsequent motion by Clevinger to adopt the ordinance as written passed 4-2. Only Welker and Bopp cast dissenting votes.

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