Pine Bluff Alderman Glen Brown Jr. and Alderwoman Thelma Walker of the Development and Planning Committee voted Tuesday to lower administration fees that are levied on people who violate quality of life laws.
This consideration will be added to the agenda of the full City Council.
“We are going to lower those fees and then go back and re-do these fines for these individuals and then give them an opportunity to pay it,” Brown said.
“It is a great hardship on the property owners,” Walker said. “We need to come up with something better than this [fee structure.]”
Aldermen and city employees looked at a list of people who owe overdue fines. This list will be revised according to the new fee structure.
“We had some concerns from some citizens that our administration fees were excessive,” Brown said.
City of Pine Bluff Quality of Life employee George Barnes reiterated that he discovers unkempt properties are owned by people who live far from Pine Bluff. He said that he spends a great deal of time making contact or attempting to make contact with absentee owners.
Barnes said property owners are responsible for maintaining their properties, regardless of where they live.
Police Department Lt. Joe Paul Harrell said city officials send letters to such property owners. But Harrell said he does not receive responses from many such property owners.
The Quality of Life Division used to be a part of the Pine Bluff Police Department. The Pine Bluff City Council voted in December 2016 to detach it from the police department supervision and make it a standalone entity.