SAUK RAPIDS -- Residents in Sauk Rapids will face a stronger penalty for properties that are not cleaned up.

The Sauk Rapids city council unanimously approved amending a new ordinance that will increase fines for neglected buildings and junked vehicles on private properties.

Back in May, the council approved an ordinance which requires homes and buildings to be kept in good condition for things like paint, siding and shingles and that vehicles must be road worthy and can't be parked on the front lawn.

Sauk Rapids Community Development Director Todd Schultz says along with the ordinance, the council wanted to have some sort of penalty for residents who didn't comply within the 30-day notice.

"In the event that someone after getting notice from the city doesn't comply, there would have to be some sort of fee associated with a penalty. The city wanted to start out with a light fee the first time then get tough quick," says Schultz

The fines would be $100 for the first violations, $300 for the second, and $600 for the third. Repeat offenders within two year will also receive a $600 fine.

Schultz says seven homeowners have received letters from the city, and each one is in the process of handling the issues.

"All is going well. I wouldn't say every lot is completed yet but everybody is making progress towards the issues or concerns that were raised in the letter they received from the city," says Schultz.

The new ordinance began after the city continued to received complaints from other residents.