Property maintenance focus in Fleischmanns

By Jay Braman Jr.
If you don’t paint your house or mow your lawn, what should the penalty be?
How does a thousand dollars a day sound? Or jail time?
In Fleischmanns it’s both.
Last week the Fleischmanns Village Board published a notice describing in detail exactly what property owners must do to keep up their land and structures and exactly what can happen if they don’t.
“All premises and exterior properties shall be maintained free of weeds and plant growth in excess of 10 inches. The exterior of all wood structures shall be protected from the elements and decay by painting or other protective covering or treatment. All windows shall be maintained free from cracks or holes,” the notice states.
And if you don’t comply, the notice spells out loud and clear what will happen.
“Any property owner found in violation of these or other code requirements will be issued a violation letter and time period in which to remove the violation and come into compliance. If the violation is not removed an appearance ticket will issued and served. The maximum fine for any property maintenance code violation is $1,000 per day of violation, or imprisonment not exceeding one year or both.”
This week rookie Mayor David Morell explained.
As it turns out, this law is not exclusive to Fleischmanns, Morell said Monday. It’s actually in the property maintenance code of New York State. And while it applies to all private property statewide, it is not enforced in many communities and has not been enforced in Fleischmanns.
Until now.
Morell said he and the village board printed the law to put “chronic offenders” on notice.
“We’re not going to take it anymore,” he said, referring to the blight on Fleischmanns visual aesthetic brought on by the lack of upkeep. “This is so people take it seriously.”
Here’s how it will work. Code Enforcement Officer Carl Patrick Davis will contact property owners in violation and have a dialogue about what needs to be corrected. Morell expects the property owners who can afford to do the work to pay for it, but he adds that the village is not out to hurt those who cannot.
“If somebody can’t get it done, call me,” he said.
A $200,000 grant is in the works to be used as a fund to pay for some of the work. Morell said he’s even considering floating a bond to secure the money to get Fleischmanns spruced up.
Morell was elected in March following a campaign under the banner of “Dream Big,” a slogan that still adorns the marquee of the Fleischmanns Theater on Main Street.
“This village will not be messed with,” he said.