The Booneville City Council last week approved amending four ordinances, including one to require commercial property owners adhere to cleanliness regulations similar to those expected in residential areas.

“We’re changing that where it will be all commercial and residential (properties). That’s what we’re after,” said Booneville Mayor Jerry Wilkins.

An amendment to Ordinance 673 requires commercial property owners to cut grass after it reaches 12 inches in height; remove garbage, rubbish and other unsanitary articles; and fill up or remove pools of water that might become a breeding place for mosquitoes.

Further the ordinance business owners to return any merchandise brought outside during the day to be returned to inside the business at night. Or moved behind a privacy fence, removed from the public eye.

Specifically the ordinance now stipulates no temporary rain coverage is allowed to remain on merchandise for 24 hours. Businesses must display a proper address and cannot place trash receptacles out more than one day before and after their pickup day.

An amendment to Ordinance 674 makes changes to fines and fee structures for the city cleaning up a property.

Also changed is the fee structure for violators are fines of not less than $75 nor more than $100 per day. Fees to mow or clean up proprieties climb from $25 per hour with a tractor to $75 per hour with a one hour minimum, from $20 to $40 per hour with a push mower with a one hour minimum; and from $20 to $50 per hour, per employee for garbage removal, with a one hour minimum.

“These old numbers were probably put in when the ordinance was put in effect. They’re just outdated,” said Wilkins

An amendment to Ordinance 690 addresses vacant lots, requiring them to be free of garbage and mowed.

“We tell these people to tear (condemned) houses down but they leave the foundation, and they can’t mow. We’ve got two or three of them around here,” Wilkins said. “(Now) we can get more aggressive in making them clean foundations up.”

An amendment to Ordinance 672 expands from an inoperable vehicle definition of as on blocks, wheel(s) removed, or otherwise not legal to operate on city streets to include a limit of storage of inoperable vehicles for more than 15 days unless shielded from public view behind a privacy fence and stored in a manner to prevent it becoming a threat to public health and welfare, including prohibition of grass growth around the vehicle.

Wilkins said the ordinances were amendment rather than enacted new to prevent any current violators from being “grandfathered in” as exceptions.