CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (WTVN) -- A southern Ohio city is considering making landlords clean up after meth labs left by their tenants.
Clean up is costly and city officials in Chillicothe say they're tired of picking up the tab.
"Police department, fire department, service department, engineering - all those entities involved, roughly $4,800 for just an average type of situation," Chillicothe City Councilwoman Pat Patrick told our sister station, NewsRadio 1490 WBEX in Chillicothe.
Patrick says in some cases landlords may not know that drug activity is going on at their properties, but it's the cost of doing business.
Any clean up would have to be inspected and meet EPA guidelines.
for landlords that don't comply, it could mean a fine of $750 and 90 days in jail for a first offense. The penalties increase if the number of non-compliances within a year do as well. Unpaid fines can also be added onto real estate taxes.
Council is also seeking to educate the community about the dangers of meth and the trash left behind by those making the drug. Meth residue including lithium and water can create a bomb that can blow apart a hand or acids that can catch fire.
The state has provided some assistance, but Patrick said they had to look to another community for a playbook on implementing this type of legislation.
"They've got more teeth, they've got more expertise than we do. Fortunately, Cuyahoga Falls has an excellent ordinance. I talked with their law director and that's the one that we ended up modeling our ordinance after," she said.
The legislation could be up for a vote by city council within a month and go into effect 30 days later.
Hear the full interview with WBEX's Kevin Coleman and Chillicothe City Councilwomen Pat Patrick and Nancy Ames.