Carrabelle focuses on nuisance trash

At the Jan. 3 Carrabelle city meeting, Commissioner Charlotte Schneider introduced the topic of nuisance trash within the city limits.

City Clerk Keisha Smith said some residents are repeat offenders who take advantage of city work crews. She said that when a warning is issued, the offender has 30 days to correct the problem. Even after it is corrected, frequently within 30 days the trash has accumulated again and another warning must be issued, Smith said.

 “I know where there’s a big Mack truck parked in the city easement that remains full of garbage,” said Commissioner Brenda LaPaz. “It looks like he tries to get a full load before going to landfill. Meanwhile he has it parked so when it rains, the water drains out onto the right of way.”

LaPaz said the water was hazardous because the truck contains bathroom waste. She said burn pile next to the truck shows where garbage had been incinerated. LaPaz said the prevalence of household garbage in the city makes it difficult for real estate agents to show property because they are embarrassed.

City Attorney Dan Hartman said that while truck could legally park in the right-of-way, the garbage could be deemed a nuisance and the owners cited because it created a health hazard. He suggested the city ordinance be changed to target repeat offenders such as the owners of the truck under discussion.

Smith said the problem was made worse because she is the only code enforcement officer and lacked resources to constantly patrol, looking for violations.

Commissioner Cal Allen suggested Planning and Zoning review the existing trash ordinance. Commissioners voted unanimously to send the ordinance to P&Z for review and address possible changes at the next city meeting.

In a telephone interview, Smith said the ordinance is based on Chapter 162 of the Florida Statutes. “It’s from 2005 and doesn’t cover everything,” she said.


Pavilion to be named for Messer

At the Jan. 3 meeting the Carrabelle city commission voted unanimously to name the new pavilion on Tallahassee Street next to the fire station after Mayor Curley Messer. A dedication ceremony and celebration are planned but no date has been set.