Nov 17, 2009 1:04 PM by Sarah Rosario
Lafayette is going to extreme measures to clean up blighted neighborhoods.
Monday, city department heads took a bus tour to get a first hand look at these neighborhoods. For city officials the idea is if neighborhoods are clean crime will stay away.
Presently Lafayette already cites residents for not mowing their lawns or for leaving junk vehicles on or around their property. Lafayette police chief Jim Craft said, "It's the broken windows theory that attracts crime. So if you keep your property clean and in proper condition you won't have to worry about those types of situations."
Citizens who refuse to maintain their property will be repremanded. For instance, if they forget to mow their lawn, the city will mow it for them and send them the bill. If this visual blight continues the city is investigating ways to expropriate or take the property away from the owner.
The parish is also working on a computer data base system that will allow all department heads to see when someone in a neighborhood requests for service. They feel this will help hold all members accountable to making sure something gets done. Right now it's still in the beginning faces. It's projected to go live in March.