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'It's gonna be towed': Bibb commission to discuss ordinance allowing county to remove junk cars

Code Enforcement Director JT Ricketson says this is the first step toward taking some pressure off the sheriff's office.

MACON, Ga. — Macon-Bibb County could soon have a new way to fight blight: through abandoned cars.

County commissioners are set to discuss an ordinance Tuesday that would make it easier for the county to remove junked cars from private property. The county would work with the sheriff's office to identify abandoned cars left pretty much anywhere in Macon-Bibb.

Vehicles left in vacant lots, or even private property, would be subject to towing.

"If it's parked in front of your house and hasn't been moved in a month, that's a big problem," said Captain Wilton Collins with the Bibb Sheriff's Office.

If they find a car that's been there longer than 15 days, the sheriff's office or code enforcement department would deliver a notice to the property owner. Collins explains how things work under the current ordinance.

"I'll send a deputy out, we'll take a look at the car. He'll take a picture of it with his body camera, turn his camera on and see where it is," He explained. "He'll go by the next day and he'll go by the third day. At 72 hours, per county ordinance, that car hasn't been moved, it's gonna be towed."

Under the new ordinance, the property owner would have 10 days to remove the car. Damon Fico lives in downtown Macon. He says junk cars don't really affect his day-to-day life, but he supports the change.

"I have owned property in the past, and if I was a property owner in Bibb County, I wouldn't want issues to come up that may detract from property values," Fico said.

Captain Collins says if it passes, they'll enforce it. If it doesn't pass, they'll keep enforcing what's in place now.

RELATED: Bibb County Sheriff's Office impound damaged car near Mercer University after months of complaints