City Hall

The City of Delta Junction is defining the rules for abandoned vehicles. Deputy Mayor Lou Heinbockel said, “It’s a real plus. We have been organized as a City since 1960 and are finally addressing this issue.”

The City is looking to define the rules governing how vehicles may be parked on or near City streets and on City property. This would include vehicles that could be considered junked or abandoned.

Currently the City does not have an ordinance to address this issue.

The State of Alaska defines an abandoned vehicle as a, “vehicle which has been left unattended, standing, parked upon or within 10 feet of the traveled portion of the highway in excess of 48 hours, or a vehicle left standing or parked on private property in excess of 24 hours or upon other public property for more than 30 days, without consent of the owner or person in charge of the property."

The City of Delta Junction plans to define an abandoned vehicle as, “any vehicle that has been discarded, left unattended, standing or parked upon the traveled portion of a public road, street or city property in excess of 72 hours; or that has been discarded, left unattended, standing or parked upon private property without the consent of the owner or person in charge of the property in excess of 72 hours; or that has been discarded, left unattended, standing or parked upon other public property without the consent of the person in charge of the property for more than 7 days.”

The Council is proposing that vehicles that have been parked on the street for more than 48 hours can be tagged with a notice that the vehicle is subject to be impounded if the vehicle is not moved. The City has not said who will tag the vehicle.

City Administrator Mary Leith said in a phone interview that the reason this topic is up for consideration is because it was originally an issue that former mayor JW Musgrove was working on prior to stepping down as mayor.

Leith said, “We have had some issues with abandoned vehicles in the past as well as issues with being able to grade the roads. When we went to the troopers for assistance, they were reluctant to offer very much guidance because we (the City) did not have any rules on the books.”

Leith went on to say that at least now if the problem should arise in the future, they should have something to let them deal with it more effectively.

Public testimony, second reading, and adoption of the ordinance are scheduled to take place at the February 2 meeting. Council meetings start at 5 p.m. and can be listened to on KDHS-FM. The meetings can be attended in person or online. Contact City Hall for more information.

Tim Holoday manages advertising for TriDelta, Inc. publisher of the Seward Journal and Delta Wind newspapers and covers general news topics. He can be reached at news@deltawindonline.com.