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City staff will help spot code violations

June 07, 2000|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

To encourage a cleaner community, some City of Hagerstown staff will hit the streets June 21 to make residents aware of potential property maintenance code violations.

That night some city workers who have volunteered will tour a downtown neighborhood looking for code violations such as piles of trash, excessive weeds or graffiti, said Mike Heyser, city building inspector.

Properties with code violations will prompt written requests that the problem be fixed, Heyser said.

This first Hagerstown Neighborhood Enhancement Effort will encompass the downtown neighborhood bounded by Potomac Street, Cannon Avenue, East Avenue and Washington Street.

The city housing task force proposed the event, which was praised by City Council members Tuesday night.

Councilman J. Wallace McClure called it "one of the best ideas I've seen."

Heyser said the volunteers and neighborhood residents are encouraged to meet at 5:30 p.m. on June 21 in either the Central City parking lot or the Otterbein United Methodist Church parking lot, both of which are on Franklin Street.

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Many city staff members and department managers are expected to be on hand to answer questions and refreshments will be available.

At about 6 p.m., the volunteers will begin touring the neighborhood looking for exterior code violations.

Requests to correct any problems will be handed out that night. Legal notices will not be handed out that night, Heyser said.

Also that night, residents of the neighborhood being checked will be able to sign up to have a city dump truck haul trash or other debris from their property on Saturday, June 24.

"We'll go back in 60 days to see how successful we've been." Heyser said. Serious problems will be followed up on sooner, he said.

Heyser said if the program is successful it would be copied in other city neighborhoods.

Next week, the city will deliver flyers to residents and property owners in the target neighborhood informing them of the upcoming program.

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