City approves ordinance changes to remove inoperable vehicles from private property

City leaders have approved changes to an ordinance intended to remove abandoned or inoperable vehicles from private properties throughout Columbus.

Columbus City Council members heard from individuals on both sides of the issue Tuesday evening at Columbus City Hall that drew a standing-room only crowd before approving the changes in a 6-1 vote. City Councilman Frank Jerome had voted against the proposed changes, saying he felt the language within ordinance wasn’t clear enough.

The changes in the ordinance, which take effect next month, gives the city’s code enforcement officer, Fred Barnett, the authority to investigate complaints concerning abandoned vehicles on private property and to issue fines. The revisions are intended to help clean up the city since there are an estimated 300 abandoned vehicles in more than 150 locations throughout Columbus, said Mary Ferdon, executive director of administration and community development.

For more on this story, see Thursday’s Republic.

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Matt Kent is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at 812-379-5712 or