Definition of Junk Expands In Muscle Shoals

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COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - Muscle Shoals is taking a tough look at trash.

The city council stiffened it`s junk ordinance, in an attempt to clean up the city.

The new ordinance outlines what qualifies as junk and includes things like metals, furniture, old tires and broken down equipment.  Many common things anyone can find while taking a drive through town.

“It`s not to pick on anybody or go after anybody,” said Tandy Crosswhite with the Muscle Shoals Building and Zoning Department.  “You may have a refrigerator for instance sitting on the front porch that`s been out there for 2-3 months.  Now under the new ordinance, it is considered junk and must be removed.”

Before the deparment didn`t have the language in the ordinance that would make them remove it.

City leaders say it's all in an attempt to keep the city presentable. While the definition of junk has been expanded to include several individual items, the city is also cracking down on tall grass.

“We have a lot of out of town property owners that will not keep the grass cut and this is the only way we`ve come up with to help get rid of our repeat offenders,” said Crosswhite.

With the updated ordinance comes increased fines.  City leaders say if someone gets written up, it will cost $100 for a first offense and up to $500, if the same place is in violation three times.

The Building and Zoning office works off complaints, and if they notice things while doing building inspections.

The new ordinance goes into effect at the beginning of October.