Edgecombe Plans Crackdown On Junk Cars
Posted April 21, 2006 4:02 a.m. EDT
EDGECOMBE COUNTY, N.C. — With old, rusty cars and vans alongside homes, and even in the middle of front yards, Martha Denny says the clunkers aree driving down the beauty of the Edgecombe County neighborhood she's lived in for 50 years.
"Well, it just looks like junk, just junk," said Denny. "It don't look like a clean neighborhood."
"It is a serious issue, because we do have regulations," said Edgecombe County Planning and Inspections directpr Ola Pittman.
Those regulations that say sitting junk cars aren't allowed in Edgecombe County. However, Pittman estimates nearly 700 of them are piled up and rusting on property throughout the county. This has continued even after they got a new a tow truck to enforce the law, and offered to pick up any old car an owner wants to get rid of and take it to the landfill for free.
"We know there are some people out there who just cannot afford to get rid of them," said Pittman.
But time is running out. Starting May 1, if someone calls to report a junk car violation, the county will give the owner seven days to get rid of it. If that doesn't happen, the county plans to tow the vehicle anyway, charge the owner $60 to do that and charge them $12 a day to store it in the landfill.
Pittman hopes the stiff fines will inspire more people to sign up for a free ride to clean up the county.
"I'm glad to know they're out here trying to get this junk up, because people just don't believe in cleaning up," said Denny.
Denny hopes the tougher penalties will help her neighborhood look more like it did in the good old days.
County leaders say, since September, only about 160 people have asked for their junk car to be towed for free. They're trying to get the word out before the deadline, and say they'll work with people with last-minute requests.