DIXON – Fines for city code violations – such as littering, parking on a residential lawn, and allowing grass to grow too tall – soon could be more costly.
The City Council on Monday put on file for 14 days a proposed change in its codes to increase many violations from $25 to a minimum of $100. A final vote could come at the June 3 council meeting.
About 25 fines would be affected by the change.
Also included in the proposal is an ordinance to make it illegal to destroy or fail to return library property. Any person guilty of those violations could face a $100 minimum fine or $700 maximum, the proposed code said.
Police Chief Danny Langloss, also special assistant to the City Council, said a $25 minimum fine was seen as too low to deter repeat offenses of a handful of code violations.
He also said the fine was too low to reimburse the city for the time spent dealing with offenses.
"We typically give more than one warning for residents to correct the issue," said Langloss, who made the recommendation to the City Council. "When fines are issued, it's usually on our third and fourth visit."
Offenses for a dog running at large and a barking dog were decreased from a minimum fine of $200 to $150 to settle.
The ordinance protecting library property was sought by head librarian Lynn Roe. She said some residents owe more than $50 to the library.
"It's nothing out of the ordinary for a library," Roe said. "We're going to send out letters, and hope we recoup some of those losses."
While the library could pursue charges through the state criminal code, Roe said, that process is burdensome.
Settlement amounts for fines
Here are the proposed settlement amounts for first-time violations. Fines are increased from a minimum of $25, unless otherwise noted.
Depositing of waste/littering $150
Illegal encroachment $100
Dumping on right of way $100
Exterior storage of junk or machinery $100
Storage of materials that may harbor rats $100
Inoperable vehicle $100
Grass and weeds in excess of 8 inches $100
Possession of tobacco as a minor $150
Possession of open alcohol in public $150
Installing sign without permit $100
Prohibited sign $100
Parking in residential lawn $100
Constructing without permit $50 to $100
Unregistered contractor $50 to $150
Swimming pool enclosure $125
Property maintenance violations $100
Fencing without permit $100
Illegal burning $150
Unnecessary noises $150
Battery $250 to $400
Disorderly conduct $250 to $300
Possession of marijuana $250 to $400
Unlawful consumption/possession of alcohol $250 to $350
Skateboarding in a prohibited area $150
Barking dog $200 to $150
Dog running at large $200 to $150
Questions or concerns
Proposed fee changes can be found at www.discoverdixon.org by clicking "citizen's information center" then "board packets" for May 20. The information also is available at City Hall, 121 W. Second St.
Call 815-288-1485 with questions or concerns.
The next council meeting is 6:30 p.m. June 3 at City Hall.