Problem properties targeted with adoption of fine bylaw

Oct 24, 2017

Voters at Monday's Town Meeting unanimously adopted Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40U, which allows the town additional control over collecting fines for non-criminal offenses, such as bylaw violations related to snow and ice removal, housing and sanitation.

Board of Selectmen Chair Peter Teitelbaum said his board often hears complaints from residents who say the town isn’t doing enough when it comes to cleaning up problem properties.

“This would short circuit that process to some extent,” said Teitelbaum. “It would allow us to tag these fines onto property taxes, essentially creating a lien.”

Town Administrator Derek Sullivan agreed, adding that it’s “another tool in the town’s tool box to help clean up the town.”

Sullivan said that without the law collecting those fines can be difficult in some cases.

“If they thumb their nose at the town this gives us the ability to add the fine to the tax bill of those scofflaws,” said Sullivan.