REMERTON -- The City Council unanimously approved an amendment to Remerton's code dealing with solid waste collection and disposal Thursday.

In April, City Manager Brian McDougal suggested Council members add an ordinance addressing the maintenance of containers at multi-family dwellings to the existing policy. He said it would make those property owners responsible for the maintenance and beautification of their trash containers, which often become "eyesores."

According to the proposed ordinance, property owners are required to maintain all garbage and trash containers serving their multi-family dwelling in a clean and sanitary manner. "All garbage and trash containers serving the owner's property must be kept free of obnoxious odors, maggots, insects, and rodents or any other conditions which may render them unhealthy to the occupants of the apartments or to the neighborhoods or to the surrounding community," the proposed ordinance states.

The proposed ordinance will also require apartment house owners to keep their garbage containers in good repair. They are also required to keep the doors and lids of the container closed when not in use ... "so as to prevent the escape or leakage from the container of any garbage or other solid waste or of any offensive vapors, gases or odors."

Under the proposed ordinance, owners of multi-family dwellings will be responsible for keeping the area surrounding the containers free of garbage and trash. Additionally, the proposed ordinance mandates that all dumpsters on these properties be blocked from public view by a site-built fence.

According to the proposal, violations of this ordinance will constitute a misdemeanor offense. Effective upon adoption, the City Council suggested property owners be given a set amount of time, somewhere between 30 and 60 days, to take any actions required under the ordinance.

The City Council also unanimously approved:

- The new 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours of operation for City Hall;

- Newly-hired City Clerk Fonda Messer's request to attend a governmental accounting class;

- The appointment of Reggie Stacks to the Metropolitan Planning Organization's Citizen Advisory Committee;

- The tentative scheduling of its planning retreat on June 9 on the campus of Valdosta State University; and

- Repair estimates totaling approximately $2,300 on residential property owned by the city previously used for storage. The City Council plans to utilize this duplex as a source of income once ready for occupancy.

To contact reporter Jessica Pope, please call (229) 244-3400, ext. 255.

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