New code enforcement push to eliminate blight
GUTHRIE, Okla. — Knee-high grass and garbage surrounds an abandoned home in Guthrie.
Code enforcement officer Jim Fish said this is a perfect example of a property that needs to be cleaned up.
“One of the interesting parts of my job is just finding out who owns properties,” Fish said.
Fish identifies vacant lots and other properties that are not in compliance with city code.
Then he tracks down the owner.
Guthrie officials are targeting areas that are eyesores in the community.
“We’ve got a lot of historic structures and some historic properties but unfortunately, sometimes if they are not maintained they can fall into a state of disrepair,” City Manager Matt Mueller said. “It really creates a blighting effect in a neighborhood.”
When the city finds a violation, the property owner receives multiple warnings.
The city said most people comply once they are notified.
Sometimes property owners have no idea that they are not in compliance.
If the owner does not clean up the property, the city will take steps to clean it and then bill the owner.
City officials said they do have the power to issue fines and citations but that is something they have yet to do.