Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

November 6, 2013

Peru to remove outdated ordinances

Subcommittee tasked with finding antiquated laws in code book.

PERU — Had the flu lately? If so, don’t think about giving away any of those unwanted clothes that might be in your closet. According to Peru city code, you’d be breaking the law.

The ordinance states it’s illegal for any person to sell or give away any wearing apparel or household furniture which has been in any house or place of habitation at any time while any person situated in the house had any contagious or communicable disease.

The obscure stipulation was put on the books in 1917, and it’s still there today.

Peru Mayor Jim Walker said that’s just one example of a slew of outdated ordinances still on the books, and it’s time to get rid of them.

“There are a lot ordinances that need to be brought into the 21st century,” he said Monday during a city council meeting.

To do that, a city council subcommittee has been tasked with combing through every city ordinance to find antiquated laws and outdated rules.

Clerk-Treasurer Jackie Gray said the council has discussed a comprehensive overhaul of the city’s code book in the past, but this is the first time it will actually get done.

“There’s always so much more in there than you think,” she said. “But to actually go through it front to back, it’s going to take some time.”

Another example of an obscure ordinance: Spitting on the street or any public place is considered a “nuisance, a danger, and a menace,” and comes with a fine of up to $10 for every offense.

Secondhand stores are still required to disinfect every item they purchase, according to another 1917 ordinance.

“These are the types of things that really need to be addressed and taken out of the ordinances,” Walker said.

Council members Tom Gustin, Phyllis Torrence and Cheryl Lee are in charge of reading through the entire city code book and recommending changes and updates.

Carson Gerber can be reached at 765-854-6739, or at carsong.gerber@kokomotribune.com.

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