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Lovejoy approves ‘registry’ ordinance

Photo by Johnny Jackson
Frances Aukerman (l) recently donated a $5,000 check to the city of Lovejoy in memory of her late husband, former councilman Arlie Clay Aukerman.

Photo by Johnny Jackson Frances Aukerman (l) recently donated a $5,000 check to the city of Lovejoy in memory of her late husband, former councilman Arlie Clay Aukerman.

LOVEJOY — Tall grass does not go unseen, and it will not go unacknowledged, said city officials.

The Lovejoy City Council approved an ordinance Monday creating a “vacant property registry.”

Officials said the ordinance was devised to make property owners accountable to the condition of their properties. It follows a trend among municipalities to get a hold on overgrown lawns and dilapidated buildings.

The ordinance requires owners to register their vacant properties with the city.

The registry would include the owner’s name, address and phone number as well as information on the person who could be served if the property falls out of compliance with the city ordinances. Owners would also have to renew registration each year and update information as necessary.

Officials said the benefits of the new ordinance are that someone would have regular knowledge of the goings-on on their property and the city would be better aware of any illicit use of vacant properties.

Officials said in the future the city could assess a lien on properties of owners who do not adhere to city ordinances.

Mayor Bobby Cartwright said the city plans to monitor all different types of properties, including residential and commercial.

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Photo by Johnny Jackson Tall rows of corn are growing on the edge of town in Lovejoy.

The council was also presented a $5,000 check from Frances Aukerman to put towards the city’s community garden. Aukerman is the widow of former councilman Arlie Clay Aukerman.

“My husband just loved to garden and give the vegetables away,” she said. “We had enough corn to feed the community.”

Her husband used two of the couple’s 45 acres of land for gardening. He had a green thumb and so did she. She grew up on a farm in south Georgia, where her family grew tobacco, peanuts and corn.

The community garden was an idea formulated this past winter. It is on 2.5-acres just off of Steele Road and already includes tall rows of corn.

Cartwright said the garden will eventually have a storefront on site for daily sales of farmers market-like products such as fresh vegetables, flowers, eggs and honey.

Officials announced the Georgia Department of Transportation public information meeting Thursday from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. about the widening of McDonough Road from Ga. 54 in Fayette County to Tara Boulevard in Lovejoy. It is at Lovejoy High School, 1587 McDonough Road.

The city will continues it Third Annual Block Party series Saturday from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the Mayor’s Park, 11620 Hastings Bridge Road.