Derelict buildings make parts of Timmins look like the inner cities of much larger cities, and Councillor Noella Rinaldo wants to have it all cleaned up.

In a slide show presentation to her council colleagues this week, Rinaldo expressed concerns about squatters, graffiti, drugs, and vermin like rats.

She said she could keep the bylaw department very busy and could very easily rhyme off ten properties in need of standards being applied.

Coun. Noella Rinaldo

“We need tougher bylaws,” Rinaldo stated.  “We have some that are very tough, but we need a commitment to start the process to implement the bylaws sooner.”

Rinaldo acknowledged that every property has its own issues, including absentee owners who just don’t care.

She wants processes to clean up the properties — or for the city to seize them — to start the minute they go into tax arrears or become a hazard.

“We have to be more proactive and we have to be very quick with trying to get the message to the landlords that we’re applying the property standards to their properties with more vigour and cost to them.”