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NC Commission Denys Fine Forgiveness [AUDIO]

Natrona County Commissioners denied forgiveness and return of payment on a fine levied, and then reduced, dating back to 2002.

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The denial this week from Natrona County Commissioners comes against a backdrop of increased pressure on county residents to comply with county junk ordinances. The fine in question had grown to over $31,000 in 2002 following several failures to comply by the land owner. The property, also known as the “Ghost town yard”, had been used for vehicle and appliance crushing and recycling.

The order to comply with the clean up remained in court through to 2008 when the property owner, Dean Waterman, passed away. In 2010 the owner’s widow came to an agreement with the county to clean up the property and to pay a reduced fine of $5000. The request this week to have that final $5000 forgiven and returned was denied by the commission on a 1-4 vote. Commissioner Keating’s was the one dissenting vote. Other Commissioners sited the time and court cost accrued over the seven years the property remained out of compliance. Commissioner Wingerter suggested that forgiving the fine would set a precedent at a time when the county is working to clarify and enforce its junk ordinances.

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