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Gillette Develops New Ordinance For Potholes On Private Property

TireZoo on Flickr via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Gillette will now be enforcing a new ordinance aiming to reduce the number of potholes in private parking lots. The new law allows the city to fine private property owners, mainly business owners, if they do not fix potholes in parking lots.

The city planning division will use resident complaints as a way to enforce the new policy, said Gillette City Planner Clark Sanders.

"From there, we'll investigate it, make sure that it's big enough. If a property owner chooses not to do it themselves, we can fine up to $750, or we can go in and abate it ourselves as the city and ensure it gets taken care of," he said.

Sanders said if the city has to fix a pothole on private property, the owner will be charged. If they refuse to pay, the city could issue a lien to require them to pay back the debt.

The new ordinance isn't meant to target an individual but does address a long-standing issue for the city, Sanders said.

"What we have seen in the past is owners not taking care of their parking lots and not clearing the debris from them or filling potholes. Specifically, we have received complaints about the potholes. So, we were looking to find a way to make sure private property owners would take care of the potholes," he said.

Sanders said some businesses have already started fixing them. "Even as the ordinance was being considered by the City Council, there were business that were filing their potholes knowing that it was coming," he said.

The new law went into effect on Wednesday, November 13.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Catherine Wheeler, at cwheel11@uwyo.edu.

Catherine Wheeler comes to Wyoming from Kansas City, Missouri. She has worked at public media stations in Missouri and on the Vox podcast "Today, Explained." Catherine graduated from Fort Lewis College with a BA in English. She recently received her master in journalism from the University of Missouri. Catherine enjoys cooking, looming, reading and the outdoors.
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