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City cracking down on litterbugs

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Updated: 1/20 11:54 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Little signs cause big headaches for folks like Allan Knight.

"I just think it's tacky," he said of the signs, mainly advertisements, that are posted on city property without permission.

"They look cheesy. Filthy."

The city vowed to take action against litter to clean up with the launch of Operation Urban Blight in October. It's an effort to clean up Jacksonville block by block. Already the city has removed 140 tons of trash from council district seven.

In an offshoot of that effort, in the past fiscal year the Municipal Code Compliance Division has removed more than 2,000 snipe signs, defined as illegal by city code, that are posted on city property and attempted to fine those responsible between $50 and $500.

Now the mayor wants to use that money to hire even more litter enforcers for the city.

In a proposal submitted this month, Mayor Alvin Brown's office suggests that 70 percent of $136,000 raised from those fines be given to JTA to clean up bus stops. The other 30 percent would be used to hire temporary city workers that would spend 2,080 hours picking up even more snipe signs.

But Christopher Ferrel doesn't want to see money from the Litter Trust Fund used for trash.

"I don't have any problem with them at all. At least most are low to the ground. I'd rather have it that easy to dismiss than up on a huge billboard."

According to the city's zero litter policy, snipe signs cause damage to city property that can't be repaired.

"The staples and tape is litter, and it does kind of peeve me a little bit," said Laura Sinclair, "but I think the signs encourage community interaction. Most of the people who post them, don't have the money to pay for advertising. If people want it cleaned up they should volunteer to help do so."

The mayor's office submitted the proposal to the council's Transportation Committee in mid-January. The committee will host the ordinance's first reading at its February meeting.

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boxerlover - 1/21/2014 11:00 AM
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I hope they enforce the law when the election signs start to appear.
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