Rising Sun Mayor Brent Bascom has released the following statement regarding abandoned vehicle ordinance being amended.
I appreciate the concerns about the City of Rising Sun’s proposed Abandoned Vehicles Ordinance and would like to clarify a few points.
First, it’s important to note the city already has an Abandoned Vehicles Ordinance. This was passed by the Common Council of Rising Sun in 1996 and is based on Indiana Code § 9-22-1 which became state law in 1991. The state statutes our current ordinance is based on have been amended in 2001, 2009 and 2013.
Because of these numerous state statute amendments, the City of Rising Sun feels it best to re-draft our Abandoned Vehicle Ordinance to maintain compliance with relevant state statutes. Our ordinance that is before the Common Council is based on the most recent update of Indiana Code § 9-22-1. Furthermore, most sections of the ordinance are taken almost verbatim from the state statutes.
Second, the definition of “abandoned” contained in our Abandoned Vehicle Ordinance is very narrowly construed as Rising Sun is not trying to get into the auto salvage business. That being said, vehicles which do meet the definition of “abandoned” are considered a nuisance and negatively impact the appearance of our beautiful city. Rising Sun elected officials have received numerous complaints about abandoned vehicles. Through repeated attempts to enforce our existing ordinance through months of correspondence to property owners, it became apparent the city’s ordinance needed updated. Thus, we have elected to consider a new ordinance which maintains our state compliance and takes into account all changes which have been made to Indiana Code § 9-22-1 since 1996.
Again, what is being considered by the Common Council is nothing new as we have had an Abandoned Vehicles Ordinance for the past 21 years. State statutes can change. When they do, the ordinances based on those statutes have to change as well. More than anything else, this is a procedural matter meant to comply with state laws.