Landlords will be able to waive responsibility for the pay-as-you-throw $25 garbage fines to their tenants after the City Commission passes an ordinance amendment later this month.
Currently, the program charges property owners for fines. But the Frankfort Landlord’s Association requested a change to alleviate their responsibilities for the $25 fines when their tenants make the errors.
The garbage amendment will allow landlords to pass their responsibility for the fines and warnings to the tenant after both parties sign a waiver form provided by the city.
Robert Bullock, representative for the landlord’s association and attorney, told the commissioners in March the problem needs to be addressed soon because landlords are being cited when their residents are not complying with the new pay-as-you-throw garbage system.
For example, property owners are cited under the new ordinance if the tenants use incorrect containers or place overflowing carts on the curb.
It isn’t productive to charge landlords for the mistakes of tenants, Bullock said in March. If the fines are supposed to be a deterrent, they should go directly to the ones who made the violations, he added.
But the issue isn’t cut-and-dry.
Public Works Director Jeff Hackbart says the current system for charging the fines is working well for the solid waste crew, because it’s easier to site the owner of a building than a tenant in a single unit.
For example, Hackbart’s staff can cite the owner of a fourplex building instead of spending time to determine which misused cart belongs to which unit, he says.
Hackbart said finding a system to identify where the warnings and citations should go is a new hurdle for the crew.
However this amendment will not cover the $4 or $12 monthly fees for the carts – only the $25 fine if the tenants misuses their garbage according to the pay-as-you-throw system.
The commissioners agreed to also pass on the monthly service charge would be risky, because it is difficult to find a forwarding address once a renter moves.
The commission held the first reading of the amendment during a special meeting Monday at the Franklin County Extension Office. It’s expected to pass in the April regular voting meeting.
The amendment also expands the recycling program to all downtown businesses.
“People are essentially giving us money in the form of recycling,” Commissioner Sellus Wilder said.
Also during Monday’s special meeting the commissioners:
>Heard the preliminary budget request for the sewer department.
>Established a landlord/tenant taskforce that would create a board to advise the commission on rental issues.