NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) --- New Bedford's mayor wants owners of so-called "problem properties" to pay for repeated police calls to their buildings.
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell announced the proposed ordinance Tuesday in front of a boarded-up tenement building on Ashley Street, which he called a "poster child" for a neglected property that costs the city thousands.
Mitchell said police had been called to the Ashley Street building more than 200 times since 2009, for everything from gang activity and assaults to drugs. Just last summer, police found an alligator chained up inside the house .
Under the proposed ordinance, a property with six or more criminal complaints or code violations over the course of an 18 month period would be designated a "problem property." Then, the landlord would be responsible for the cost of future police calls to the building.
Mitchell said this will give the city the power to crack down on buildings that are havens for crime and neglectful landlords.
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