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Babylon Town Board broadens public-nuisance law

Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer on July 30,

Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer on July 30, 2012. Credit: James Escher

The Babylon Town Board has broadened a public-nuisance law that allows officials to board up buildings that have become sites of chronic criminal activity and fine the buildings’ owners.

An amendment to what was once informally known as the “crack-house law” passed 5-0 on Tuesday and added reckless endangerment, along with sex and weapons offenses, to a list of illegal activities tracked under the law.

Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer said that as patterns of criminal behavior shift, “We’ve got to stay ahead of their creativity.”

Two or more citations within the same year at a location trigger a public-nuisance hearing. The town can board up and clean a property deemed to be a public nuisance and bill the owner. Cleanup costs get added to the tax bill if not paid within a year.

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