About 50 residents have complied with a recent citywide crackdown on junk cars, Corbin city officials say, and more are being notified of the problem every week.
City police began last month issuing courtesy notices and citations to residents who had abandoned or inoperable cars on their property – a violation of a 35-year-old ordinance forbidding the practice. It had been largely unenforced until recently.
Corbin Police Chief Carson Mullins said about 10 people were cited last week for violation of the ordinance, bringing the total number of citations and courtesy notices to about 60.
“It’s moving along great,” he said. “To my knowledge, about everybody that has been warned has taken care of the problem. There’s probably several more we haven’t gotten yet. Our officers have been looking for others and are noticing them. We are taking the bull by the horns and dealing with it.”
Officials estimate that about 100 to 125 junked cars are illegally parked in the city limits. Property owners in violation of the ordinance usually receive a courtesy notice from police that gives them seven days to correct the problem. If it isn’t corrected, violators are cited to district court where they could face penalties as harsh as a $100 and up to 90 days in jail.
“There’s no way of knowing if you’ve got all of them, but this is not just a temporary thing,” said Capt. Steve Lundy. “This will be something that will be continued by the Corbin Police Department for the foreseeable future. From now on, officers will always be watching for this. There’s not going to be as many as we’ve got now. I’m sure there are going to be a few every now and again, but it won’t be a big massive amount.”
Corbin Mayor Amos Miller said he expects the problem to be resolved in three to six months. After the initial crackdown, Miller said a newly appointed Code Enforcement Board, formed to tackle property maintenance issues, will take over enforcement of the ordinances. The board can levy fines and issue subpoenas for individuals not in compliance.
“That’s going to cut down on the process a whole lot,” Miller said. “They will take care of this sort of stuff.”
Miller said consistent enforcement of ordinances regarding junk cars is the key to not letting the problem get out of hand again.
“It will be up to us,” he said. “If we are consistent with what we say and consistent with what we do, people will conform to our consistency.”
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