AP NEWS

Sampson town tired of junk cars littering yards

May 10, 2019

Rusting cars have become enough of an eyesore in Garland that officials in the Sampson County town are devising ways to junk them for good.

“It’s a significant problem in Garland, and it’s spread all over town,” Mayor Winifred Murphy said of vehicles that haven’t been driven in years – many lack license plates – sitting in front yards and vacant lots.

“Springtime is usually when we get the most complaints because people are cleaning up their own properties, and they look next door and see that their neighbors are not doing the same things they are doing,” Murphy said.

Garland has a town ordinance that states that a vehicle left on private property that is not operable and not listed on the tax roll is a nuisance. That’s because it can become a breeding ground for rats, bugs and other pests and can pose a safety hazard for children.

But Police Chief Ron Matthews said the ordinance needs to be fine-tuned he and his officers can go onto private property and remove a nuisance vehicle.

“We are getting some help from our attorney as far as the enforcement of this,” said Mayor Pro Tem Austin Brown, brought the matter before the Town Council.

Brown said that, once officials hammer out details of enforcement and penalties, warning letters will go out to all Garland residents.

“Maybe that will serve as their wake-up call,” he said. “We can’t invite people to our town if we don’t take care of this problem: They’re eyesores. People are coming to our town. They don’t want to come to a town that looks like a junkyard.”