Tuesday, March 24, 2009

City at violators' service...for $250

At Tuesday's City Council meeting, Director of Administrative Services Patrick Hopkins reported to the Council regarding the Administrative Ticketing system now in place to enforce the City’s updated Property Maintenance Code.

According to Hopkins, the ultimate goal of the new system to improve neighborhood quality of life, to improve the efficiency of City inspectors through technology, and to reduce court time through alternative enforcement of related problems.

The new system, Hopkins explained, works in a manner similar to vehicle-related ticketing. When a violation is recognized by an inspector, the site will be captured by digitally timed-stamped photographs and the property owner is issued a $25 ticket.

If the violation qualifies as “non-abatement,” the fine must be paid, but there will be no subsequent inspection. Trash-can or recycling violations are examples of this category. If the violation qualifies as “abatement,” the City will revisit the property after a specified period of time to confirm that the violation has been corrected. If not, the City will hire a contractor to correct the violation and bill the property owner for the work (approximately $250.00)."

Under the new system, over 400 property violations have been dealt with, with a total of only 10 appeals.