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M'ville expands code enforcement

 


The City of Marysville has moved their code enforcement unit into the Police Department in hopes of giving it additional support and resources.

The code enforcement unit, which handles nuisance complaints and other code problems in the city, will have an additional position and a supervisor now as part of the local police department.

“This is part of an ongoing effort to help add code enforcement to the city,” said Commander Mark Thomas of the Marysville Police Department.

“The city was looking to try and find the best use of its resources to achieve its overall goals,” he said.

Previously, code enforcement was under the Community Development Department, however it will now be handled under the Police Department.

Many other cities also use put code enforcement with the police, said Thomas.

The code enforcement unit used to have two officers, one full-time and one part-time, said Thomas.

It will retain those positions while adding a community service officer who will deal with parking enforcement and animal complaints, as well as a supervisor.

The supervisor “will also investigate and work cases in addition to managing the resources of the unit, as well as set priorities,” according to Thomas.

The unit will “handle all the code enforcement efforts,” said Thomas, which includes areas like nuisance complaints, building and fire codes, land use issues and wetland issues.

“I think the most visible of those issues is going to be the nuisance complaints,” he said.

Issues like abandoned cars that have been left parked on the road, property with open storage and property that has multiple vehicles stored improperly are some of the problems the city receives complaints about, said Thomas.

“I think providing a full-time supervisor, as well as applying the resources of the Police Department have been demonstrative ways to address these issues,” said Thomas.

The code enforcement unit has been in the Police Department since the beginning of February.

“I think they’re already seeing improvement,” said Thomas.

In the unit’s first 30 days, 150 improperly parked cars were addressed with either a pink tag or by contacting the owner, said Thomas.

Of those, 117 cars were voluntarily moved.

“So the owner will see the pink tag and they took care of the problem themselves,” said Thomas.

Fourteen cars were impounded, and Thomas expects many of those were simply abandoned.

The remaining cars the unit is working with the owner “to hopefully come to a place of voluntary compliance,” said Thomas.

There are also 144 open code enforcement investigations ongoing, he said.

“There is an education piece first, where we talk and create awareness about the current codes,” he said. After that, the unit gives a period of time to clean up the issues, and depending on the issue that could be anywhere from 24 hours to 10 days.

If the issue is not cleaned up, a notice of infraction is given. In the first 30 days 50 were given out, said Thomas.

After two notices of infraction, a criminal citation can be given, of which 15 were given in the first 30 days.

“With a citation, they must go in front of a judge to explain why they have not cleaned up their issue,” said Thomas.

Thomas said the primary goal is not to give out criminal citations and that the unit wants to work with the people.

 

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