WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – An extra $26,000 is what city staff needed to keep up with nuisance properties in the city of Wilmington.
Code enforcement handled nearly 110 abatement cases from July 2012 to June 2013. The following fiscal year saw 45 by August 2013.
The typical problems are associated with trash, overgrown grass or hazardous conditions surrounding a house, according to a spokesperson for the city.
But law enforcement can be involved when the nuisance has a criminal connection.
Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous said it can happen when officers continually respond to a location or illegal activity is connected to the property.
"It decreases the number of calls to that location dramatically," he said. "The neighbors and the other business owners applaud the action because they don't want that type of activity in their neighborhood."
Evangelous said their involvement in abatements only comes after lengthy investigations and a refusal from the property owner to respond to a warning; if not, a civil abatement is served and that could lead to an owner losing property.
"For the part, property owners are responsible when they understand what the ramifications are," said Evangelous.
He added that WPD works with property owners to solve any issues before involving the courts.
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