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Councilman to propose ordinance fighting problem commercial properties

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A Fort Wayne city councilman is set to introduce an ordinance fighting commercial chronic problem properties.

During a Wednesday afternoon announcement, City Council President Tom Didier was joined by Mayor Tom Henry, Fort Wayne Police Chief Steve Reed and other council members where they discussed details of the new proposal.

The Commercial Chronic Problem Properties ordinance would address places where police are frequently called to because of illegal activities or are considered to be what are described as having become a "general nuisance to the community."

If passed, the ordinance would fine businesses that receive 12 citations in a 90 day period. Those citations could be issued by police, the fire department or neighborhood code enforcement.

The goal of the proposal is a two-pronged effect: clean up busy areas of town while saving police resources.

"The Fort Wayne Police Department wants Fort Wayne to be safe and inviting for residents and visitors. Unfortunately, our officers have to spend too much time responding to nuisance calls. Our resources need to be focused on meeting the needs of residents, neighborhoods and businesses to ensure the safety and well-being of our community as we work to be the safest city possible," said Police Chief Reed.

Didier talked with NewsChannel 15 in June about problem businesses in the area of W. Coliseum Blvd. and Goshen Rd. The new ordinance is expected to bring attention to the numerous crimes that have happened on properties in that area.

Wednesday's announcement comes after council voted to table a discussion of a bill that would have mandated sexually-oriented businesses to close at midnight.

The ordinance will be introduced at Tuesday's council meeting with discussion and public comment scheduled for October 3 at 5:30pm.


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