The City of Elkton Code Enforcement Board has issued a final, non-appealable order to the owner of a North Main Street property in the city that one neighbor described as a giant fire hazard.

Elkton City Clerk and Treasurer Laura Brock said the matter went before the code enforcement board after the owner, Carol Jane Steed, failed to pay a minimum fine that came as the result of a citation.

That citation had been issued for a second offense of dilapidated structures, according to Brock.

The term "issued" means the property was cited, the owner didn't pay a fine or request a hearing and a final order has been issued. "Not appealable" means the owner didn't file an appeal to court within the required time frame, information on the City of Elkton website at elktonky.com noted.

For Steed, the maximum fine now due as a result of the final order is $300. Had she chosen not to contest the citation and paid the penalty within 10 days, her fine would have been $150.

The code enforcement board met on May 23, and Steed's property at 528 N. Main St., was one of several matters addressed by the board; others addressed a variety of issues from dilapidated structures and the accumulation of rubbish to the failure to apply for and pay occupational license taxes.

The uniform code citation issued to Steed asked her to repair or replace her roof and garage and to paint the storage building/garage. It noted that the roof on her home is caving in and needs to be replaced and that there shouldn't be holes, rotting wood or unpainted surfaces on the house or garage.

Brock said Steed has 30 days to pay the $300 fine; if she doesn't, the city will file a lien on the property and go through the foreclosure process. The property will then be sold through the court system, with anyone having an opportunity to purchase it. Foreclosure allows the value of the lien to be recovered.

Brock noted penalties and interest will start accruing on the house once the city files its lien; they start accruing from the day the lien is filed, Brock said. The only way for Steed to take care of things from that point is to pay the fine, the interest and penalties in full, Brock added.

Steed's property is among several in the city that Elkton Mayor Arthur Green said officials are working to address, but he said it takes time to work through the process. In Steed's case, the city also referred her to some real estate agents to look into selling the home, the mayor said earlier.

He said Steed's house was damaged in a flood three years ago, and he said he doesn't believe she got much, if any, assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that responds to disasters.

Steed now lives in Tennessee with a relative.

Neighbor Lori Camara moved into the house adjacent to Steed's house last April and began contacting city officials about the property at 528 N. Main St. In complaints shared in a letter to the New Era, she called the house a giant fire hazard and said it's one reason for so many tragic fires in Todd County.

The City of Elkton Code Enforcement Board that considered Steed's case typically meets once a month, but it won't meet if there are no matters to address, Brock said.

Reach Tonya S. Grace at 270-887-3240 or tgrace@kentuckynewera.com.

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