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Responsibilities and Authority in Chouteau
The Code Enforcement Officer for the Town of Chouteau plays a crucial role in daily community operations and quality of life. His/her duties have a direct impact on property values and community image within Chouteau city limits.
It is inevitable that a property will age with the progression of time. By enforcing property standards and working to keep up with aging, deteriorating properties, our Code Enforcement Officer is able to combat community imperfections and loss of value for residents and property owners within the Town of Chouteau. Some struggles that code enforcement officials face include dealing with: vacant buildings, garbage and clutter, unkempt lawns full of tall grass and weeds, and graffiti and property destruction.
Protecting Against Crime
Studies reveal that communities with poor conditions tend to attract or support the presence of trespassers and vagrants, property destruction, drug use on vacant or abandoned properties, and in general more crime. In addition to the increase in crime rates, the community members are faced with a significant drop in property values, resulting in difficulty selling their home or business or in profiting from any possible sales.
In addition to deterring crime and decreasing property values, code enforcement officers also maintain the safety and well-being of the community members by ensuring the maintenance of habitable property conditions. Situations such as hoarding circumstances, fire code violations, and unsanitary living conditions can put the health and lives of residents at risk. Enforcing ordinances such as fire codes, building codes, and general property standards is crucial and lifesaving.
AUTHORITY GRANTED TO THE CHOUTEAU CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
The designated Code Enforcement Officer is granted specific authority to enforce the provisions of the Town of Chouteau municipal code and ordinances related to public nuisances:
Upon receiving a complaint or report of code violation, whether written or oral, anonymous or not, the Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to visually inspect the reported problem or violation.
Upon confirmation of a violation, the Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to issue a ten (10) day compliance letter directing that the alleged problem be fixed or removed by the property owner or person in possession of the property in question. The Officer, at their discretion, may extend the time for compliance. Provided, such extension shall be made in writing by the Code Enforcement Officer.
For violations of any provision of this chapter, the Chouteau Code Enforcement Officer may issue a citation for violation which shall be prosecuted in the municipal court pursuant to chapter 1, article SA of this code. If not specified, the penalty for such violation shall be as set forth in the town's general penalty ordinance, section 14-1 of this code.
Upon the failure of the property owner or person in possession of the premises to comply with the request contained within the compliance letter, the Chouteau Compliance Enforcement Officer may refer the matter to the Chouteau town board of trustees for abatement proceedings set forth in the Town of Chouteau municipal code and ordinances and consistent with state statutes. Provided, high weeds and trash (article 2 of this chapter), abandoned or junked vehicles (article 7 of this chapter) may be abated under the provisions of sections 13-15 and 13-16 of this chapter. (Ord. 2016-4, 10-10-2016)