The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

June 24, 2011

Oak Hill to enforce junk car ordinance

Oak Hill residents and businesses with abandoned or junk cars will be facing fines up to $500 per day as the city begins an immediate enforcement of abandoned, junk and wrecked vehicle ordinances.

City Manager William Hannabass said the ordinances have been on the books for a long time but haven’t been enforced.

“It’s one of those situations where you look the other way until you have a proliferation of junk vehicles,” he said. “We have gotten to the point where we can no longer tolerate it in the city of Oak Hill.”

The ordinances, he said, apply to both individuals and businesses, including those in auto repair.

“Junked or abandoned vehicles are not permitted on public or private property unless they are in an enclosed building or a licensed salvage yard,” he said.

A car is considered junked if it cannot pass a state inspection, he explained.

The ordinance is strict, he continued, and includes major car parts like tires, bumpers or transmissions.

If you have a wrecked vehicle, you have up to 30 days to fix or get rid of it under the ordinance but will then be subject to fines, Hannabass explained.

And with fines ranging between $25 to $500 per day, violators can be fined up to $15,000 in a month.

“Like any other fines, if these are not paid, there can be serious consequences,” he added.

Needless to say, the city of Oak Hill will start looking clean, but Hannabass pointed out encouraging people to get rid of their junk cars can really benefit the owners.

“Salvage prices are up right now,” he said.

 “If you have a junk vehicle, you are going to have money in your pocket. Some vehicles may be hard to tow out, but in many instances, owners are going to have a profitable experience.”

Bud Fox, owner of Bud Fox’s Body Shop and Towing in Glen Jean, said that while scrap metal prices change daily, right now an average vehicle can yield between $200 and $300.

—E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com

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