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Shepherdsville looks for teeth to deal with nuisances

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By The Staff

SHEPHERDSVILLE - Empowered to take steps that help to clean up the city, Jim McAuliffe needs a little help.

He needs some rules and regulations that have some teeth - that would allow him to move forward in a quicker path to clean up dangerous situations.

The Shepherdsville code enforcement officer presented councilmembers with a trio of ordinances dealing with abatement of nuisances from across Kentucky.

McAuliffe said his goal is to entice growth to the community and part of that is to have a city that everyone can have pride in.

The abatement ordinance needs to deal with trash, vacant structures, abandoned and junked cars and anything else that deters from the appearance and safety of the city, said McAuliffe.

“We have to have the power to get this done,” said McAuliffe.

In past meetings, McAuliffe has spoken about the time spent on trying to get an abandoned home on Hester Street addressed.

With absentee owners, McAuliffe said it is impossible to do anything.

The problems include possible fire hazards, rats living in the structures, kids messing around in a dangerous structure and undesirable people sleeping or living in the old buildings.

He said it is the duty of the city to prevent crime and criminal acts can happen at old, vacant structures.

“It’s up to us to make sure we give a good impression,” said McAuliffe.

The enforcement officer said the city has no desire to take anyone’s property. The goal is to work with owners to help them clean up the property.

Three homes were demolished last year by the state as part of the Highway 61 project and McAuliffe said that helped.

He asked councilmembers to look at the ordinances to see if one might be appropriate for Shepherdsville.

Councilman Larry Hatfield understands McAuliffe’s concerns. Hatfield serves in a similar role for county government as its solid waste coordinator.