Code enforcement the hot-button issue at City Commission

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The City of Pampa Commissioners had a lengthy discussion concerning code enforcement during Monday’s regularly-scheduled meeting.

Resident Donna Brown set the tone for the meeting during public meeting, commenting on the state of Pampa’s appearance and her intentions to hold a clean-up day for the Prairie Village area on Saturday, July 30.

“I was born and raised and went to school here,” Brown said. “I recently moved back and have seen it kind of fall by the wayside. My goal here is to restore Pampa, starting with the south side cleaning up. I want to clean all of the lots and make our city presentable for people to come back.”

Brown noted she has worked with several city personnel, community leaders and looked into what she could do to help.

“All I’m asking right now is that as a family of Pampa, we come together and restore our city,” Brown said. “All I ask is for your help.”

City manager Shane Stokes welcomed both Fire Marshal Jason Roberts and Code Enforcement’s Kirk Reed spoke on the process to “cleaning up the city.”

“We will get a complaint in our office, put eyes on it and, if it’s a valid complaint, attempt to talk to the resident,” Reed said. “If we can’t talk to the resident, we will go straight into the process. We will send them a letter to let them know they are in violation. This letter gives them 10 days to correct the violation.”

After 10 days, if the violation is not corrected, a certified letter is then sent.

“If they don’t get it corrected in those 10 days, as well, that’s when we come to the ticketing process,” Reed said. “We may ticket them two or three times and if we see they aren’t going anywhere with it, that’s when we will abate the problem.

“We will get a warrant and go onto the property and remove all of the junk/debris from the property and roll the cost onto the homeowner.”

If the problem persist, that’s when Code Enforcement gets the police department involved to resolve the issue.

High weeds and grass starts when the complaint comes in. If the property is in violation, a letter is sent and residents need to mow within seven days .

“After those seven days if it’s been mowed, we’re all done,” Roberts said. “If it hasn’t been taken care of, it gets turned over to the Parks Department and is mowed. Once the Parks Department mows it, Code Enforcement bills it and comes back to me (Roberts). I do a complaint and give it to the Municipal Court in the event they don’t pay the fees.”

Violators only get one letter in a 12-month period. If there are two violations, the second complaint goes straight to the mowing crews and back through the process.

There was some friendly back-and-forth between the City Commission and residents concerned about code enforcement, junk and debris.

For more information on the City of Pampa, call 806-669-5750.

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