SHAMOKIN - City police have cited nine vehicle owners for expired inspection stickers under a new nuisance ordinance in an attempt to have abandoned vehicles removed from streets more quickly.

The ordinance allows code and police officers and other designated officials to issue tickets for certain code violations rather than citations.

Cpl. John Brown recently cited Anthony Lee Wetzel, of 130 E. Dewart St., Shamokin; Robin B. Koeberle, of 129 E. Dewart St., Shamokin; Joseph M. Kristoff, of 138 S. Oak St., Mount Carmel; Emil John Reibsome, of 231 N. Vine St., Shamokin; Gerald Mosier, of 2525 Snydertown Road, Sunbury; Randy Lee Smith, of 916 N. Washington St., Shamokin; Zachary E. Beaver, of New Columbia; Curtis Alan Painter, of Millersburg, and Joseph A. Tumolo Jr., of 1014 N. Rock St., Shamokin.

The vehicle owners were initially ordered to pay $25 fines for the offense, but now face an additional cost for not paying their fines, which prompted police to issue citations rather than tickets. The offenses were committed on East Dewart, West Spruce, East Spurzheim and North Washington streets, and an alley between North Rock and North Washington streets.

City council recently implemented the nuisance ordinance. The same law was put on the books earlier this year in Coal Township.

The ordinance targets people who violate codes such as abandoned vehicles, barking dogs and high grass and weeds, punishing violators with an initial $25 fine.

The goal is to resolve the issue quickly - get the grass cut, have vehicles removed - rather than take it to court.

The fines are $25 per violation for a first offense. The severity increases on subsequent offenses to $50, $100 and $300. All fine money stays in the municipality.

Violators have 10 days to pay before a citation is issued and the matter lands in court.

Under the previous system, nuisance violators were issued a citation immediately, which began a potentially lengthy and costly process for the violator and the municipality, since a court appearance was needed.

City code enforcement officer Rick Bozza recommended the city adopt the nuisance ordinance enforcement.