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Neglected building owners in Utica to pay more

An ordinance designed to push owners of abandoned structures within village limits not to neglect their properties has been amended by Utica trustees.

The board decided Wednesday to raise the abandoned structure registration fee as well as the monthly administrative fee from $25 to $100.

Mayor David Stewart explained the fees hike, which goes into effect Friday, Feb. 1, would affect fewer than 10 properties at this time.

Stewart said, by this enforceable action, the board hopes the higher fees will give owners of neglected houses and buildings the incentive to keep their properties in good repair.

Trustees agreed to a $4,830 expenditure for local radio advertising to promote the village and its events for the year. The board also decided to donate $500 to the Waltham School Trivia Night event Saturday, Jan. 26. Proceeds from the fundraising support student sports and other programs.

Public Works Director Curt Spayer informed trustees the planned culvert work under Route 178, south of Water Street and north of Johns Street, will begin in the near future after the area is dried out followed by a stretch of better weather.

Village Engineer Kevin Heitz reported the crushed guardrail at the intersection of Route 178 and Richard Hallet Road was recently repaired by Northern Contracting at a cost of nearly $5,000. Village expenses are expected to be recovered by insurance companies of the drivers who caused the damage last year.

During the meeting, Stewart led the board in a moment of silence to honor the passing of former Utica Mayor Joseph “Joe” Carey, who died last month. Carey was mayor for 12 years before becoming La Salle County circuit clerk in 2001.

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