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Property maintenance toughened

The City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved changes in a law that will result in stricter enforcement of property maintenance.

Among the changes:

* Prohibiting motor vehicles, trailers and recreational vehicles from being parked outside unless they are roadworthy.

* Securing vacant buildings, with all windows and doors covered and painted to match the exterior.

* Garbage and compost piles must be stored in bins and away from property borders.

* Exterior decks and parking lots must be kept "dust free."

The law also increases court fees. The new provisions are available in the city clerk's office. The law is in response to recommendations from the Community Advisory Commission.

On a related matter, Council members also scheduled a public hearing for 6:50 p.m. April 15 on proposed changes to a law regarding duties and powers of the housing, building and zoning officer.

In other matters:

* Keith Ahlstrom, a member of the Chautauqua County Legislature, accepted the provisional appointment as fire chief and was introduced to the Council.

The Council approved paying Ahlstrom $65,000 a year. The earliest the city can hold the civil service test to fill the post permanently is January.

* The Council approved a request to sell The Buffalo News Kids Day edition April 24. The special edition sale is a fundraiser for Women and Children's Hospital.

* Mayor Richard Frey announced that brush will not be collected until May.

He urged residents who are cleaning their yards to bring their brush and branches to the city barns and also advised against leaving it curbside.

* Frey also announced that pothole repairs will begin in the next few weeks.

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