“Clean up or pay up.” That’s the message the City of Erie hopes to send to some property owners by increasing fines for its “Quality of Life Ticketing Program.”

Erie City Council approved raising fines and penalties for quality-of-life ticketing. What was once a $25 fine will now be $100 per violation. This goes into effect on June 6.

Quality of Life Ticketing is for yard violations, such as illegal burning, improper trash handling and high grass.

“Take a look at blight, addressing blight and help us enforce the landlords to take care of their property,” said Andy Zimmerman, manager of code enforcement for the City of Erie.

The city’s code enforcement office implements the program by first knocking on doors.

“At $100, the inspectors will then go to citation. At $25, people didn’t really take it seriously,” Zimmerman added.

Neighbors said it’s not the amount of the fee that matters but whether or not the program is being enforced.

“The city is constantly fighting and I think it’s going to be a losing battle. In this case, fines are going to help. I guess it is technically costing us money at this point,” said Jacob Dellecurti, neighbor.

“Increasing the fines for speeding is not going to stop me from speeding right until you get caught. So same thing here. Until you get caught, they actually force your hand they actually make you make a change people aren’t really going to do much of a change,” said Will Friday, neighbor.

If you’re in a position where you cannot maintain your property, Zimmerman has some recommendations.

“Your nonprofits and your neighborhood watches and even nearby neighbors, if they know your situation then they can step in and help,” Zimmerman said.

You can learn more about the Quality of Life Ticketing Program on the city’s website.