Middletown code enforcement sweep coming in July

Credit: Castle, Clayton

Credit: Castle, Clayton

Middletown council members have made it clear: cleaning up the city focusing on code enforcement is a top priority.

Beginning July 8, code specialists will sweep the city, going house-to-house and doing outdoor inspections. The Code Enforcement District Sweep by city inspectors will run through Sept. 13.

During each two-week period, all five code enforcement specialists will be concentrated in one district to do comprehensive house-by-house outdoor inspections. The specialists will notify property owners and occupants of violations found and include educational information concerning code enforcement tips and assistance programs that are available for repairs.

The districts and their sweep dates are.

  • District 1 (July 8 - July 19): Airport/Riverfront, Harlan Park, Downtown, Church, Oakland, Lakeside, Roselawn.
  • District 2 (July 22 - Aug. 2): South, Prospect, Douglass, Meadowlawn, Amanda/Oneida
  • District 3 (Aug. 5 - Aug. 16): Sherman, Highlands, Barbara Park, Mayfield
  • District 4 (Aug. 19 - Aug. 30): Sunset/Park Place, El Dorado/Williamsdale, University, Wildwood, Avalon, Riverside Village, Dixie Heights, Springhill, Northeast, Manchester Meadows
  • District 5 (Sept. 2 - Sept. 13): Sawyer’s Mill, Rosedale/The Oaks, Creekview, Euclid Heights/Runnymede, Lewis/Clifton Farms, Greenfields, Far Hills, Thorny Acres/Burnham Woods, Towne Mall, New England Heights, Renaissance

During June city council meetings, code enforcement and “cleaning up” the city was debated among council when City Manager Paul Lolli rolled out a proposed consolidation of city departments with a focus on supervision of the zoning specialists.

“Where I have a problem is ... in the last 10 years there’s still the same caved-in roofs, broken windows, the same streets that constantly have litter on them,” said councilman Steven West II.

Residents are constantly complaining to council members about blatant code violations, West said. He said he sees alleyways filled with trash.

“Where is the enforcement?” he asked.

At Tuesday’s meeting, West said council is pretty demanding on staff because they want change sometimes faster than it can happen “because we want things to change.”

With enforcement sweep along with a second Trash Bash scheduled for July 13 and the ongoing Home Improvement Repair Program that will be expanded, “the tide is turning,” West said.

Councilman said Zack Ferrell said the code sweep is not about the city telling people what to do.

“We are putting into effect ways to help people who need help and improve their properties,” Ferrell said.

It is not an “attack” on anyone, he said acknowledging some city properties also need improved upkeep.

Credit: Nick Graham, staff photographer

Credit: Nick Graham, staff photographer

“This is a joint effort from the city and the people,” Ferrell said “We are trying to derail crime. If we have a city that looks run down with boarded up windows and houses that are falling apart and roofs that are falling in, that looks like a pretty good place to have some crime.”

Seeing code enforcement specialists out in the city “pleased” councilwoman Jennifer Carter.

“I am expect a lot more work to be done. We have to keep pushing,” Carter said. “Clean your yard, clean your porch and if we can pitch in and help we will.”

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