The Augusta City Council on Thursday delayed a final vote on a proposed Vacant Building Registration Ordinance because a key council member was absent from the meeting.

The council was expected to take a final vote on the ordinance, which would require owners of vacant buildings to register with the city, but the vote was delayed because Councilor Dale McCormick was absent, Assistant City Manager Ralph St. Pierre said. The vote now is scheduled for Oct. 1, the date of the council’s next business meeting.

The ordinance would require owners of buildings vacant for 60 days or more to get a permit from the city and pay a fee – $200 for commercial entities and $100 for individual owners. Owners also would be required to provide the city with contact information of someone in Maine who could respond to problems and notifications of code violations or other city actions related to the building.

The permits would be valid for six months and would need to be renewed if the building continued to be vacant.

The ordinance was drafted after residents and councilors complained about vacant homes being left unmaintained and unsecured.

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