BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Mayor Joe Ganim and other Bridgeport leaders declared war on blight and illegal dumping, calling for a new city ordinance to fine violators $100 for each day their properties are not cleaned up.
“Blight and illegal dumping are eyesores that can lower property values and deter investment in our city, but they are also costly and can lead to health hazards. Enough is enough!” Ganim said Friday.
The mayor made the announcement on Suggetts Lane in the East End, one of several hot spots for illegal dumping in the city.
Ganim reminded the public that those who illegally dump or fail to clean up their property may face steep fines, criminal charges and seizure of vehicles. The proposed ordinance would put more pressure on violators.
“That means zero tolerance for anyone who disrespects the residents of this city and our neighborhoods by just leaving their trash in an abandoned lot or letting their house go to waste,” Ganim said. “We will find those responsible and bring criminal charges against them. Just dumping trash and leaving a blighted property in Bridgeport are going to cost you.”
The mayor said he also plans to offer a $200 reward for anyone who gives the city a tip that leads to an arrest for blight or illegal dumping.
“We are also asking for the public’s help in finding the bad actors here so we can clean up our city,” he said.
The city has issued more than $111,000 in fines for blighted properties and illegal dumping so far in 2016. In addition, crews from the Bridgeport Department of Public Facilities have cleaned up more than 1,110 illegal dumping sites, removing nearly 300 tons of debris.
And the work is costly. The city has spent nearly $100,000 to remove unlawfully dumped trash this year.
Want to report an offender? Call 203-576-8023 or 203-576-7976. Evidence can come in many forms, including cellphone photos sent via text message.
If the new ordinance is approved by the City Council, the city could seek liens against property owners to prevent transfer of title or deed until the outstanding fines for blight are paid.
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