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Readers' Hotline 11/6/13

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Where’d they go?
I was just checking to see if anybody knows what happened to Diamond Nails and El Parian?
Editor’s note: Both of the businesses in Galax closed recently.

Can’t afford it
I can no longer afford the $24 non-users fee for the county water. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is a lot when you don’t have it at the end of each month. Can you please tell me if you quit paying the $24 each month, what do they do? Does the county come and seize your land in the middle of the night or what? I was wondering if you could please get a response from people. Is anybody else not paying this non-users fee? Please help me if you can.
Editor’s note: According to Carroll Public Service Authority officials, the PSA will take out a “warrant in debt” from the Carroll General District Court against those who do not pay.

Think twice
Young people or anybody does not need to start a home or even put a trailer in Carroll County. We need supervisors that will help people that do not make enough money to pay for all these permits. For example, if you want a permit for septic tank you pay $450. If you want a permit for a well, you pay $300. But, if you disturb your own land that you have worked and paid for, the permit is $50. But, guess what, after June 1, if you disturb your own land, you will be paying $2,700. Now supervisors, what are you going to do about these permits? Don’t tell me it is because of Virginia. No, it is because of Carroll County wanting to make money off of poor people who have worked and paid for their own land. Are we living in a democratic country? No. We are living in a communist country.
Editor’s note: The water and septic fees are a requirement of the state health department. It Erosion and sediment permitting is also a state requirement that Carroll and every other locality in Virginia had to put into place. These fees are not  a money-making scheme by the county.

Eyesore
Why doesn’t the person that owns the trailers on Glendale Road below the golf course have them crushed and hauled away? It looks terrible for the city and for sight-seers.
Editor’s note: According to Galax City Manager Keith Barker, the mobile home park is non-operational, meaning that there are no tenants living in any of the units. The city intervened with the property and ordered that some units be removed, which was completed by the owner. The owner is also required to mow the property regularly. At this time, the remaining buildings have not been ordered for removal, but the city has ordered that the uninhabitable units cannot be rented unless they are repaired.

No resolution
I was wondering what happened with the cancer fraud lady. There was a big write-up in the paper and then nothing now. We are all curious if there were ever charges brought. Did she have cancer? Just wondering.
Editor’s Note: At this time, we are unaware of any charges being brought on this case.

Abandoned
This is pertaining to [the Hotline call] “abandoned houses.” Talking about weeds and grass growing up, etc. I don’t know if they still have it on the books or not, but back in the 90s, if someone’s property came in disarray like this, the city sent someone and had it mowed and then they sent the person that owned the property a bill for $125. I don’t know if it is still in effect or not, but Mr. Editor, you could check it out if you would for us. Thank you so much and have a blessed day.
Editor’s note: The following is a response from Galax City Manager Keith Barker: We typically inspect properties where someone has called in a complaint, whether it is mowing or cleaning up a property. In regards to the mowing, once we receive a compliant and inspect the parcel, we must notify a property owner if their property is in violation. By city code, we must notify the owner and give a specific period of time for the owner to mow the lot. We provide a list of contractors, however an owner may select someone else to perform the mowing, If the lot is not mowed, we will have the lot mowed and the contractor will then send a bill to the owner. If the owner still does not pay, we then pay the contractor and seek to place a lien on the property. In regards to junk and debris removal to clean up the property, once we receive a complaint we inspect the property and notify the owner if it is in violation. Again, by the city code, we must notify the owner and give them time to perform the cleanup. If the cleanup has not occurred within the specified time period, we must then seek a court order where the owner is mandated to perform the cleanup. If an owner cannot be determined, we must still seek a court order allowing us to clean up the property. All costs can then be placed as a lien against the owner. We try to work with the owner(s) of properties that have received complaints, as that seems to be the most effective and cost efficient way to address these issues.”