Nearly a decade ago last month the Philadelphia Fire Department assisted a property owner on Border Street in burning a dilapidated house in what was described then as an effort to remove “unlivable” structures.

About that time, nine houses were destroyed or removed, but issues have persisted all over town, some of the primary offenders being businesses on main thoroughfares.

In 2015, owners of dilapidated properties were to be sent a letter giving them 30 days to clean up in a city-wide beautification effort.

Not much happened that anybody could tell.

More recently, there was a successful volunteer effort to pick up trash for a couple of weekends ahead of a Marty Stuart event.

Fast forward to this summer and city leaders are once again on the issue of dilapidated properties.

Aldermen are apparently working on an ordinance that when enacted will make it a little easier to get something done about nuisance properties.

But they’ve had little appetite to enforce what’s already on the books in the Historic District.

Reports persist of overgrown lots, residents who keep 12 to 15 dogs penned in their backyard, rodents in overgrown lots and more.

For decades, issues have been brought before the Mayor and Board of Aldermen again and again with little resolution.

The proposed ordinance will give the property owner time to deal with bad conditions and prescribe punishment.

Aldermen discussed court and fines earlier this month.

City Attorney Robert Thomas is working on the proposed ordinance and was to bring it back to the board.

“It will put some teeth in our clean-up efforts,” Mayor James Young said.

Let’s hope so! Let’s hope the Mayor and Board of Aldermen are finally taking seriously the need to clean up our city before it’s too late.