City OKs garage sale ordinance

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The Madisonville City Council took steps to regulate garage sales throughout the city, setting limits on frequency and signage, requiring permits and setting fees and fines for violators.

At its regular monthly meeting on Monday, the council unanimously approved the ordinance, which states that it was “in the best interest of the health and welfare of all the citizens of Madisonville.”

The city now will require all residents holding a garage sale have a permit at a fee of $5. Additionally, all residents will be allowed only two sales per year, and each sale can last no more than 72 hours.

The ordinance also limits signs for individual garage sales to three — one for the site of the sale and two elsewhere. The additional signs cannot be on city traffic signs or utility poles, and can only be placed on other properties with that owner’s permission. Signs can be no larger than 2 square feet, and must be removed within 24 hours after the sale concludes.

Code Compliance Officer Don Grooms said the issue has been discussed for more than a year.

“We had no ordinance pertaining to what a garage sale is, when it can be done, where it can be done and where signs can be placed,” he said.

When permits are obtained, the city will place the sale on the city website.

Enforcement of the ordinance will be slow at first; City Manager Camilla Viator said there will be a grace period while the residents of Madisonville become accustomed to the changes.

Following that, citations can be issued to violators of the ordinance; fines can be up to $250 per day.

The city will publish handouts which will contain information about the new ordinance, which passed unanimously. Council Member Jerry Harper was absent during the meeting and did not vote.

In a separate matter, residents Terry and Harry Davis addressed the council, claiming that on two occasions, council members Jerry Harper and Dale Kovacs were “inappropriate” in their attention to the family while the Davises were at Lake Madison Park fishing and picnicking.

Terry Davis said she was uncomfortable in that she was fishing alone with her daughters; Harry Davis said they need to “stop this foolishness.”

Mayor Bill Parten said that since the item was not on the agenda, there would be no action, but directed Viator to look into the matter and report her findings.

In other business, the city:

•approved street repairs, to be completed by Larry Young Paving Inc., on areas of North Madison Street, Morris Street, East Washington Street and Short Street, at a cost of $140,625;

•approved payments to Weisinger Inc. for work done completing a new water well for the city in the amount of $179,396;

•awarded construction contracts in an unspecified amount for sewer line renovations on Highway 21 between Short and Fairview streets;

•approved an agreement with the city of Midway for off-duty Madisonville police officers to work as a patrol officer in Midway. The work schedule encompasses one day a week for four hours, which will be chosen at random;

•tabled an ordinance setting minimum standards for street construction within the city; and

•waived city taxes in the amount of $8.16 for the Economic Development Council.

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