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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

County reduces $6,000 lien of Dunnellon property owner stranded abroad by COVID-19 travel restrictions

The Marion County Board of County Commissioners approved the reduction of a lien by $6,000 for a Dunnellon property owner who was stranded in Venezuela due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

During last week’s Marion County Board of County Commissioners meeting on October 5, the board voted to approve the reduction of a lien that was placed on a Dunnellon parcel of land earlier this year.

According to county records, on February 10, the Code Enforcement Board imposed a fine against Rosmary Cristina Mendez for code violations existing on her 0.93 acre parcel located in the Lake Tropicana Ranchettes in Marion County.

Rosmary Mendez property in Dunnellon
Rosmary Mendez’s property is located in the Lake Tropicana Ranchettes in Dunnellon

By the time the violations were cleared on June 28, the fine had increased to $6,000.

In August, Mendez appeared before the Marion County Code Enforcement Board in an effort to reduce the lien on the land. She stated that she was visiting family with her five children in Venezuela when COVID-19 travel restrictions were implemented, keeping her from returning to the United States. While in Venezuela, Mendez suffered a serious injury in an accident that further kept her from clearing the code violations.

Once Mendez was able to return to Marion County, the property was brought into compliance.

During that August meeting, code enforcement officials approved the recommendation and last week, the Marion County Board of County Commissioners voted to reduce the lien by over 90%.

Mendez will now pay the remaining administrative/staff fees, which total just under $630.