From taking out the trash to cutting the grass, city offers reminders about spring and summer rules and regulations

The City of Buckhannon would like to remind residents to be thoughtful of visitors and their neighbors as summer approaches. A number of issues appear each year that cause complaints to be filed with the city. Please do your part to make Buckhannon shine!

• Be a responsible pet owner – A pet must be in the control of the owner and it is the pet owner’s responsibility to remove pet waste from public property whether it is located in a Park or along the street. If the pet owner does not own the property then it is their responsibility to remove the waste and dispose of it in an acceptable manner. Be kind to your pet: if it is kept tied-up all day – does it have access to shade, does it have access to food and fresh water?

• Keep grass clippings out of the street – Leaving grass clippings in the street contributes to blocked storm drains and an increased threat of local flooding. When you or your yard service finishes mowing, excess grass is to be collected and disposed of properly. The City collects yard debris early each Friday morning – if you will call and schedule a pickup before noon on Thursdays. Note: yard waste is collected by the Street Department and is not treated as garbage. Please do not dispose of yard waste as part of your weekly trash pickup. Alternatively, you may leave the clippings in place on your lawn as a natural mulch/fertilizer, reducing the need for chemical applications.

• Trash cans need to be concealed – After your scheduled pick-up, please retrieve your toter or trash containers from along the street and return them to a location more pleasing to the appearance of your neighborhood. Having trash containers “out” more than 24 hours is a violation of City Ordinance.

• Lawn care needs to be done regularly – The attractiveness of your neighborhood is enhanced by proper maintenance of your yard. Failure to mow your lawn, having excess materials in your yard or on an open porch filled with “stuff” often become eyesores for your neighbors. Please help make our city Shine for our visitors and your neighbors. As a regular subscriber of city service for trash collection you may call and arrange for the pickup of bulky goods and other unwanted items by City crews for a reasonable fee.

• Automobiles and other items are often left to rust – in back or side yards. It only takes a few moments to arrange to have that unused item removed from your property by a towing service and disposed of properly. If you haven’t done anything with the item in the past year, it will probably be there next year as well. Why not have it removed today?

• Yard Sales are limited by State Law – State Law limits the number and length of yard sales (isolated transactions) that can be conducted without a business license and without the collection of sales tax. “Isolated Transactions–sales of tangible personal property or taxable services by persons who are not in the business of making such sales, such as individuals selling their used furniture, if the person or business holding the sale holds no more than four in one year and each sale lasts no more than forty-eight hours, and sales of taxable services by persons who are not routinely in the business of providing taxable services, such as teenagers who occasionally mow lawns, baby-sit or do odd jobs (persons who routinely sell odd items at yard sales, flea markets or along the roadside are engaged in the business of selling and must register with the Department of Tax and Revenue as a business).

• Obey traffic laws and speed limits – All too often in our hurry to get somewhere we fail to stop at the corner or ignore a speed limit. Failure to obey established traffic laws can be very expensive and extremely hazardous to pedestrians and cyclists, especially children and elderly residents. Slow down and enjoy your trip. Watch for crosswalks, and share the road with cyclists. You are legally required to give cyclists at least three feet of space when passing them on their left. Four to six feet is even safer. Make sure to yield to cyclists when turning left or entering the road from a side street, driveway, or parking lane. Merge completely to the far right edge of the road in advance of making a right turn. Wait for any bicyclist ahead to clear the intersection before you make a right turn – do not turn across the path of the cyclist. Even if there is a bike lane, you should merge into the bike lane before turning right. Cyclists, in turn, can make themselves safer and respected. Competent cyclists politely cooperate with other drivers by yielding when required, choosing the correct lane at intersections, using lights at night, and otherwise following the same traffic laws as motorists. Such cyclists are far safer than inexperienced cyclists.

• Finish that remodel project – Do you have a half-completed project around your home? Building permits expire after 6 months and your neighbors are getting tired of seeing the clutter.

• Please don’t litter – Keeping Buckhannon clean is everyone’s job. Take that empty soda cup home and dispose of it properly or keep a small plastic bag in your car to collect the trash and dispose of it properly when it is full. Not only is it the right thing to do, West Virginia has litter laws, and you can face fines and even jail time. WV Code Ch. 22-15A-4 states:

(5) Any person who violates the provisions of this section by placing, depositing, dumping or throwing or causing to be placed, deposited, dumped or thrown any litter, not collected for commercial purposes, in an amount not exceeding one hundred pounds in weight or twenty-seven cubic feet in size, is guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, he or she is subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $2,500, or in the discretion of the court, sentenced to perform community service by cleaning up litter from any public highway, road, street, alley or any other public park or public property, or waters of the state, as designated by the court, for not less than eight nor more than one hundred hours, or both. If any person is convicted of the misdemeanor by placing, depositing, dumping or throwing litter in the waters of the state, that person shall be fined $500 to no more than $3,000, or in the discretion of the court sentenced to perform community service by cleaning up litter from any waters of the state, as designated by the court, for not less than twenty to no more than one hundred twenty hours, or both.
(6) Any person who violates the provisions of this section by placing, depositing, dumping or throwing or causing to be placed, deposited, dumped or thrown any litter, not collected for commercial purposes, in an amount greater than one hundred pounds in weight or twenty-seven cubic feet in size, but less than five hundred pounds in weight or two hundred sixteen cubic feet in size is guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction he or she is subject to a fine of not less than $2,500 nor more than $5,000, or in the discretion of the court, may be sentenced to perform community service by cleaning up litter from any public highway, road, street, alley or any other public park or public property, or waters of the state, as designated by the court, for not less than sixteen nor more than two hundred hours, or both. If any person is convicted of the misdemeanor by placing, depositing, dumping or throwing litter in the waters of the state, that person shall be fined $3,000 to no more than $5,500, or in the discretion of the court sentenced to perform community service by cleaning up litter from any waters of the state, as designated by the court, for not less than twenty to no more than two hundred twenty hours, or both.
(8) Any person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this section is subject to double the authorized range of fines and community service for the subsection violated.
(7) Any person who violates the provisions of this section by placing, depositing, dumping or throwing or causing to be placed, deposited, dumped or thrown any litter in an amount greater than five hundred pounds in weight or two hundred sixteen cubic feet in size or any amount which had been collected for commercial purposes is guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, the person shall be fined not less than $2,500 or not more than $25,000 or confinement in jail for not more than one year or both. If any person is convicted of the misdemeanor by placing, depositing, dumping or throwing litter in the waters of the state, that person shall be fined $3,000 to no more than $11,000, or confinement in jail for not more than one year or both. In addition, the violator may be guilty of creating or contributing to an open dump as defined in section two, article fifteen, chapter twenty-two of this code and subject to the enforcement provisions of section fifteen of that article.

• Swimming Pools & Other Water Features – “Private swimming pools containing water more than 24 inches in depth, shall be permitted only when located in rear yards, and further when completely enclosed by a fence or buildings or combination thereof of a height of six feet (6’) in the case of fences, and six feet (6’) or greater in the case of buildings, and generally protected in such a manner so as to avoid becoming an attractive nuisance especially to children.” Please take the necessary steps to resolve this problem within 15 days from the receipt of this notice. Untreated, stagnant pool water will need to be drained for prevention of breeding of mosquitoes.

• Tips on Keeping Sidewalks Clean and Safe- Property owners are responsible for maintaining sidewalks and driveway aprons next to their property. Keeping sidewalks clean and free of tripping hazards reduces liabilities for property owners, who can be held liable if someone is injured on the sidewalk in front of their property.

-Address problems as soon as possible to minimize area and amount of repair required.
-Do not park cars or other heavy equipment on your sidewalk.
-If you observe hazardous sidewalks, report them by calling 304-472-1651 (Buckhannon City Hall).
-Remove paint, tar, or other materials if they get on the sidewalk. Do not hose paint or petroleum products into the storm drainage system.
-Sweep sidewalks to keep them free of leaves, snow, ice, or debris. Be sure to properly dispose of debris. Do not sweep them into the gutter or street.
-Trim tree branches, shrubs, and other vegetation so they do not obstruct the sidewalk.
-Watch for early signs of leaking water lines, tree roots, and other damages.

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