[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Amsterdam 1-21-1969. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH
- The Commissioner of Health or any duly authorized representative.
- A person who uses or occupies a building structure, whether as owner or tenant. A tenant who uses a part of a building structure shall be deemed the occupant of that part of which he has actual or constructive possession. The owner, agent or other person having custody or control of a building structure shall be deemed an occupant of the part that is vacant.
- Includes the agent operating and managing the building structure as well as the legal owner.
- RAT HARBORAGE
- Any condition which provides shelter or protection for rats, thus favoring their multiplication and continued existence in, under or outside of any structure.
- Preventing ingress and egress of rats. It shall consist of closing with material impervious to rat gnawing all openings which may be reached by rats.
It is hereby ordained and required that all buildings in the City of Amsterdam shall be ratproofed, freed of rats and maintained in a ratproof and rat-free condition to the satisfaction of the Commissioner of Health.
Upon receipt of written notice and/or order from the Commissioner of Health, the owner of any building specified therein shall take immediate measures for ratproofing the building, and unless said work and improvements have been completed by the owner in the time specified in the written notice, in no event to be less than 15 days, or within the time to which a written extension may have been granted by the Commissioner of Health, then the owner shall be deemed guilty of an offense under the provisions of this chapter. Whenever the Commissioner of Health has shown such offense to occur, he shall have the authority to order said building vacated and closed until it has been made ratproof and may cause to be posted at each entrance to such building a notice with the following words therein: "This building is unsafe and its use for occupancy has been prohibited by the Commissioner of Health of the City of Amsterdam." Such notice shall remain posted until the nuisance has been abated. It shall be unlawful for any person to remove such notice without written permission of the Commissioner of Health or for any person to enter the building except for the purpose of ratproofing the same or of demolishing the building. If the owner is guilty of said offense, the Commissioner of Health may cause the building to be made ratproof and the amount of the cost thereof shall be a lien against the real property upon which said building was or is situated. Said costs shall be placed upon the city's tax books against said property and may be collected and the lien may be foreclosed in the same manner as taxes and tax liens are collected and foreclosed or by suit as the city may determine.
The owners of all ratproofed buildings are required to maintain the premises in a ratproof condition and to repair all breaks or leaks that may occur in the ratproofing without a specific order of the Commissioner of Health.
Whenever the Commissioner of Health notifies the occupant or occupants of a building, in writing, that there is evidence of rat infestation of the building, said occupant or occupants shall immediately institute rat-eradication measures and shall continuously maintain such measures in a satisfactory manner until the premises is declared by the Commissioner of Health to be free of rat infestation. Unless said measures are undertaken within five days after receipt of notice, it shall be construed as a violation of the provisions of this chapter and the occupant shall be held responsible therefor. If such violation occurs, the Commissioner of Health may cause the rats to be eradicated and charge the cost to the occupant. If the building is occupied, the cost of eradicating the rats shall constitute a lien on property which the occupant has on the premises where the work is done. If the building is vacant, the cost of eradicating the rats shall constitute a lien on the premises themselves.
From and after passage of this chapter, the Commissioner of Health is empowered to make inspections of the interior and exterior of all buildings to determine full compliance with this chapter, and the Commissioner of Health shall make periodic inspections of all ratproofed and previously rat-free buildings to determine evidence of rat infestations and the existence of new breaks or leaks in their ratproofing and when any evidence is found indicating the presence of rats or openings through which rats may again enter buildings, the Commissioner of Health shall serve the owners or occupants with notice and/or orders to abate the condition found.
Whenever conditions inside or under occupied buildings provide extensive harborage for rats (in the opinion of the Commissioner of Health) said Commissioner of Health is empowered, after due notification in accordance with § 184-3, to close such buildings until such time as the conditions are abated by ratproofing and harborage removal.
Whenever conditions inside or under unoccupied buildings provide extensive harborage for rats (in the opinion of the Commissioner of Health) said Commissioner of Health is empowered, if said conditions are not corrected in a period of 60 days after written notification to the owner or within the time to which a written extension may have been granted by the Commissioner of Health, to institute condemnation and destruction proceedings.
It shall be unlawful under the provisions of this chapter for the occupant, owner, contractor, public utility company, plumber or any other person to remove and fail to restore in like condition the ratproofing from any building for any purpose. Further, it shall be unlawful for any person or agent to make any new openings that are not closed or sealed against the entrance of rats.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation hereafter to construct, repair or remodel any building, dwelling, stable or market or other structure whatsoever, unless such construction, repair, remodeling or installation shall render the building or other structure ratproof in accordance with the regulations prescribed herein and hereunder. The provisions of the section apply only to such construction, repairs, remodeling or installing as affect the ratproof condition of any building or other structure.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation hereafter to occupy any new or existing building wherein foodstuffs are to be kept, handled, sold, held or offered for sale without complying with § 184-10 of this chapter; and unless the provisions of this section are complied with, no city license or permit to conduct or carry on such business as defined above will be issued.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to demolish any building before it has been certified by the Commissioner of Health as being rat-free.
All food and feed within the City of Amsterdam for feeding chickens, cows, pigs, horses and other animals shall be stored in rat-free and ratproof containers or compartments or rooms unless stored in a ratproof building.
Within the corporate limits of the City of Amsterdam all garbage or refuse consisting of waste animal or vegetable matter upon which rats may feed and all small dead animals shall be placed and stored until collected in covered metal containers of a type prescribed by the Commissioner of Health. It is further declared unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to dump or place on any premises, land or waterway any dead animals or any waste vegetable or animal matter of any kind.
It shall be unlawful for any person to place, leave, dump or permit to accumulate any garbage, rubbish, junk or unlicensed junked used cars or trash in any building or on any premises, improved or vacant or on an open lot or alley in the City of Amsterdam so that same shall or may afford food or harborage for rats.
It shall be unlawful for any person to permit to accumulate on any premises, improved or vacant, or on any open lot or alley in the City of Amsterdam, any lumber, boxes, barrels, bottles, cans, containers or similar materials that may be permitted to remain thereon unless the same shall be placed on open racks that are elevated not less than 18 inches above the ground and evenly piled or stacked.
Unless otherwise specified in this chapter, any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision or provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than $50 or imprisonment of not more than 10 days, or both. Each day's violation shall constitute a separate offense.