Foreclosed and abandoned homes are becoming a nuisance for some residents in downtown Barbourville.
That has city officials looking at what they can do.
WYMT's Michel Mason explains how the city is getting around a state law that puts off doing something about problem properties for months.
“You'd think if they want to sell it they'd do something with it,” Tommy Engle said.
Tommy Engle lives right across the street from a home on Main Street that's been empty for almost a year.
He says frustration has been building ever since.
“It's an eyesore really when you live right in front of it and it's on Main Street as the mayor says and everyone tries to keep their yard mowed and clean, you know,” Engle said.
Mayor David Thompson says complaints began pouring in to a number of city departments this year.
The complaints led the council to enact a new ordinance to crack down on foreclosed or abandoned homes that are overgrown.
The state of Kentucky requires cities to wait 60-90 days before taking action.
The mayor says the new ordinance will allow Barbourville police to begin issuing citations much sooner.
“To help the neighbors that live beside these properties that are vacant, abandoned, unoccupied,” Mayor Thompson said.
Not only do neighbors consider the home an eyesore, they also say it can attract vandals, stray animals and pose a fire hazard to neighboring homes.
“Kids out during the night time go into these properties. We've had calls at several of these properties where the police officers have to go there,” Mayor Thompson said.
The mayor wants to make it clear this ordinance is about problem properties and not a crackdown on people in the community.
“We're not trying to create an ordinance to try and tell people when to mow their yard,” Mayor Thompson said.
Neighbors and officials hope this effort will keep their city a cut above the rest.
Once a citation is issued, the property owner has seven days to fix it up.
If not, city officials say they can take over the property.
The ordinance should be finalized by the next council meeting.