UTICA — This week’s Public Eye discusses how the city of Utica’s Codes Department handles unkempt yards and also elucidates the process of sending a complaint to the city.

Numerous readers have written in asking about what to do with neighbors who leave trash in their yards. They include houses and businesses on Lynch and Wurz avenues.

Officials in the Codes Department said they respond to unkempt yards and trash through complaints they receive and from finding issues through various patrols through the city.

The Problem

Property owners around Utica leaving garbage and rubble or leaving their lawns unkempt.

The Solution

The New York State codes states that an owner’s exterior property and premises shall be free from any accumulation of rubbish or garbage. It is also required that occupants must dispose of all rubbish in a clean and sanitary manner.

Garbage is defined as the “animal or vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.” Rubbish, meanwhile, includes paper, rages, cartons, wood, rubber, leather, tree breaches, tin cans, metals, dust and yard trimmings.

After a violation is found, the city issues a Notice and Order, which is a warning that also gives a date in which the problem must be fixed, officials said.

Officials added that if someone is found to be intentionally dumping, it’s an immediate ticket.

The price of the ticket depends on a case-to-case basis. Typically, the lowest cost is $50 for one violation, though officials said $250 for a violation is not unusual.

You can call the Codes Department at 315-792-0163 or send an email to the mayor’s office at mayor@cityofutica.com. You can also send a letter to 1 Kennedy Plaza in Utica.

Reporter Joseph Labernik investigates neighborhood complaints each week and reports the findings. If something is broken or neglected in your neighborhood, tip off Public Eye by sending an email with a thorough description of the problem to jlabernik@uticaod.com. Letters also can be sent to Public Eye, Observer-Dispatch, 221 Oriskany Plaza, Utica, NY 13501.