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City Of Chicago Bills Elderly Couple For Rat Control On Adjacent Public Property

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Mar 13, 2013 10:00PM

2013_3_13_rats.jpg City Hall says an elderly couple is responsible for the cost of rat control on an adjacent public property.

Nancy Jajkowski, 87, and Michael Jajkowski, 89, live in Niles, but they received several notices, citations and bills from the city of Chicago, holding them responsible for Streets and Sanitation work.

Last year, the couple paid the city a $650 fine for weeds, then they received another fine for $2,000 including new charges for the adjacent Chicago property.

CBS reports:

Basically, they were charged for an alleged rat hole on the piece of land between the street and sidewalk, which is actually owned by the city. Same thing for a shared alleyway that the city says had a rat burrow.

“If there is a rat hole here what is a 90-year-old couple to do?” said the Jajkowskis' lawyer. The city isn't backing down and insists the cost belongs to the Niles couple. In a statement, the city said:

"The top priority of the Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation is to protect the health, safety and well-being of Chicago residents. In this instance, we attempted to make contact with the homeowner on several occasions to discuss community complaints stemming from the property. Our department issued citations in an effort to compel the homeowner to maintain their property in accordance with the Chicago Municipal Code for issues including significant overgrowth of weeds, failure to maintain the parkway and failure to maintain rat stoppage.”