ST. PAULS — The St. Pauls Board of Commissioners decided it’s time to enforce town regulations regulating how long roll-out containers can remain on the street.
The ordinance, which states that trash roll-out containers can only remain on the street for 48 hours before they have to be back next to a house, has been the law for several years, said J.R. Steigerwald, the town’s administrator. The regulations just haven’t been enforced.
Steigerwald said only warnings will be issued during August. Courtesy notices and press releases will be used to get the word out throughout the community that the enforcement of the regulations is about to begin.
‘We’re just trying to get a handle on this before it gets out of control,” Mayor Gerard Weindel said.
The commissioners have discussed on numerous occasions their concerns about roll-out containers being left in the street for long periods of time beyond when they have been emptied.
Both Steigerwald and Weindel said enforcement will be the same for everyone. There will be cases, however, such as when a resident is away on a short vacation, where a temporary exception may be made.
The board also approved new language in the town’s nuisance ordinance that addresses grass clippings in the street.
Grass clippings getting into drains is one of the reasons flooding occurs along many of the town’s streets, Steigerwald said.
“They (clippings) become like brick and block stormwater going down drains,” he said. “This was one of he reasons there was so much flooding during Hurricane Matthew.”
Steigerwald said the timing is right to introduce regulations that will be enforced and for fines to be levied on violators.
“People remember Hurricane Matthew and all of the flooding,” he said.
There is a similar ordinance on the books in Red Springs, said Neill Yarborough, the town’s attorney.
“What you’re trying to do by this ordinance is keep grass out of drains and from under cars,” he said. “If you don’t have an ordinance on the books you can’t enforce your regulations.”
The town will work to make sure everyone is aware of the regulations, Steigerwald said. Enforcement will not begin until after August.
The commissioners went into a closed session so the town attorney could present legal limits for the town board regarding the regulation of zoning for churches. No action was taken after the commissioners came back into open session.
bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.