LOVES PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — The City of Loves Park has been notifying residents they could face hefty fines if they don’t clean up their property.
The city did a 5th annual Spring Property Maintenance Violation Sweep last month, and since then, residents have been receiving violation notices.
Juan Terre, Loves Park’s Code Enforcement Officer, has been fielding so many calls about the notices that his office voicemail recording says, “If this is a call about a notice you received about your garbage cans, it probably has to do with placing your garbage cans in front of your house and/or garage. They are not allowed there.”
Loves Park resident Leon Johnson said he was shocked to hear about the code enforcement.
“I think it’s ridiculous. I mean, it’s really not an eyesore and it doesn’t hurt nothing if they’re sitting in front of the garage,” he said.
In the voicemail message, Terre says garbage cans are only allowed to be behind or to the side of the house.
Tim Mackey received his notice last week.
Now, he’s putting in a concrete pad on the side of his house so he can store his cans properly, an expense he says he wasn’t expecting to pay, after living in Loves Park for almost four years.
“The cans aren’t blowing around, cluttering up the neighborhood or anything. It’s just a little added expense that I have to do, so I don’t have to pay a fine,” Mackey said.
If residents don’t correct the violation by the date on the notice, they can be taken to court and fined up to $10,000.
Johnson thinks the City of Loves Park has better things to do than worry about garbage cans.
“No, it’s a waste of time. They have better things to do, catch the drug dealers and whatever is going on,” he said.
The city sweep is part of a larger effort to fight crime and blight, by creating “curb appeal.” Officials say this is one more way to make Loves Park more attractive to families.