City of Fulton officials halted efforts to require six properties within the city limits to be cleaned up during their Oct. 19 meeting.
Letters received by the property owners earlier this month addressed the need for the properties to be cleaned up or the city would do it at the owner’s expense. Two property owners attended the meeting, but the chief complaint among the board of alderman was they were not aware the letters had been sent.
“My thing with this is first of all this was my ward. No letters should have went out without my knowledge of them or pictures,” Ward 1 Alderwoman Daisy Stone stated during the meeting. “I don’t appreciate another alderman coming into my ward. I’m getting the flack and I don’t know what went on and why it’s going on.”
Municipal Clerk Ceburn Gray told the board in the previous administration one alderman would bring the list of properties to him and he would begin the process and send the letters out. Gray agreed that the process needed to be discussed before moving forward.
“I agree with Daisy. If a letter is sent out and it’s signed ‘the board of aldermen,’ and I don’t get to see it before it goes out then I’m not going to be happy,” Ward 4 Alderman Cory Moore said. “Going forward, whatever letter that goes out signed ‘board of aldermen,” then we need the opportunity to read it.”
Of the six properties, four letters were returned and must follow due process of being advertised and cleanup orders posted on the home Gray said.
Alderman-at-large Brad Chatham asked would the process of cleaning of properties fall under the new building official’s responsibility, Gray told the board it would.
The board approved Drew Gough as the city’s new Building Official and Steven Steele as the Zoning Official during their Oct. 5 meeting. Both positions are part-time and to be paid $20 per hour.
Training has not yet begun Mayor Emily Quinn told the board
During their September meetings the board agreed to interview current employees as well as advertise the hiring of a building and zoning official. The board also approved a quote from Davis Inspection Services to train a building official, update codes, and review zoning ordinances for a one-time payment of $1,900 along with a $300 monthly fee for six months.
“Since we are off on the wrong foot, can we get the new person in and trained and take another look at it,” Chatham suggested.
Ward 2 Alderman Richard Comer reminded the board that one of the two properties was “burned out” and another left empty for years with both creating a health and safety hazard for the city.
Of the six properties, four letters were returned and must follow due process of being advertised and cleanup orders posted on the home Gray stated earlier in the meeting.
Chatham told the board he agreed the issues need to be addressed but felt it best to get the new building inspector get the proper training and move forward at that point.
The board agreed unanimously to halt the process until Gough is properly trained and procedures are in place.