Highland residents had better start cleaning up their acts, or at least their yards.

Mayor James Hewlett is spearheading a drive to clean up yards and neighborhoods in Highland. He said the push is in response to numerous complaints by residents who want neighbors to clean up their junk.To help residents understand the new ordinance, discussed at Wednesday's City Council meeting, there will be a public hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 8 p.m. Hewlett said a public meeting is not required by law but is necessary because so many people will be affected by the new ordinance.

Although not yet finished, a list of storage practices forbidden within a one-mile radius of Highland will be available at the meeting, Hewlett said. He described it as a "very comprehensive list of what constitutes junk."

The list will include things such as junk cars, old tires, scrap metal and even unkempt weeds.

After a property owner is notified by the city that a problem exists, and given sufficient time to resolve it, the ordinance allows the city to bill the property owner if city crews end up removing the junk, Hewlett said. Officials may take legal action or ask the county treasurer to put a tax lien on a delinquent property until the cleanup is paid for.

The new ordinance is necessary, Hewlett said, because of the number of developments and new buildings going up in Highland. Something must be done now to avoid future problems, he said.