Friday, July 27, 2012

Louisville Metro Council passes scrap metal ordinance

A new law will enhance a state requirement of daily tracking of scrap metal purchases in Louisville.

By a unanimous vote, the Louisville Metro Council is putting into place significant steps to address the problem of scrap metal theft throughout the city. In recent years, a growing number of small businesses, churches and residents have reported metal as stolen.

Commonly stolen items include air conditioners, gutters, piping, manhole covers, sewer grates and even cars - all taken to scrap metal buyers who pay cash for the value of the metal.

The ordinance will offer tools to track scrap metal transactions and make it more difficult for scrap metal thieves to successfully sell stolen property. “Working with the recycling and scrap metal industry locally along with Metro Police, we believe we can now realistically track the theft of scrap metal and catch those who have victimized so many groups and individuals,” said Councilman David James (D-6), the primary sponsor of the ordinance. Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh (D-9) is a co-sponsor of the legislation. “It was critical to our success that all the stakeholders worked out a solution that adds new tools in law enforcement’s bag to stem the tide of metal theft,” says Ward-Pugh. “I particularly appreciate the legal expertise around the table of River Metals Recycling, who helped lead the statewide amendment in the Spring General Assembly.

The Council’s action follows recent legislation passed by the Kentucky General Assembly. The ordinance enhances the requirements of House Bill 390, calling for daily reporting of purchases made by scrap yards.

In addition, the measure includes:

· A requirement that no vehicle 10 years or younger may be sold to a scrap metal business without a title;
· The creation of a database maintained by the Louisville Metro Police Department that will aide LMPD in their investigation of scrap metal theft;
· Confiscate any vehicle used in the act of scrap metal theft.

“This is a good piece of legislation that enhances what state lawmakers have already passed,” said Councilman David Yates (D-25). “We are now putting those on notice who think they can steal scrap metal for profit that you are going to be caught.” Since last year, James along with Ward-Pugh, Yates, and Council members Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13), Marianne Butler (D-15), Kelly Downard (R-16), Jerry Miller (R-19), Kevin Kramer (D-11), Councilman Bob Henderson (D-14) and President Jim King (D-10) along with others have talked with representatives from the scrap metal industry and the law enforcement community to come up with a solution to the growing problem of metal theft.

The new ordinance will take effect upon the signature of the Mayor.