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Lets clean it up
Effort to enforce city codes a welcome one
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 What kind of an impression is Great Bend leaving upon newcomers. It doesn’t take them long to site unsightly properties. 

A standing agenda item on the City Council for just about every meeting is property abatement approvals. Several more were OKed Monday night.

In fact, City Sanitarian Gregg Vannoster noted that there have been 478 year-to date-complaints. In the past two weeks, there have been 35 new complaints (19 by citizens and 16 by city staff), 50 complaints taken care of by citizens, four abatement notices sent, five abatements performed, seven vehicles brought into compliance and 12 overgrown vegetation abatement notices sent. 

That’s a lot of activity.

The city is serious and is cracking down on such nuisances, and the council even made it one of its top priorities. So important is this issue, that in addition to Vannoster, the city recently hired Stuart Baker as code enforcement officer.

Maintaining property is a quality of life issue that leads to safer and more attractive neighborhoods, and protects property values, Baker said at a gathering last week. He is in the process of helping update the city’s codes and has been meeting with residential groups and property owners. 

Most people appreciate the information, he said.

It is clear that most of us want our city to look nice. It is also clear that most of us don’t want to see run-down and dilapidated structures.

This is a matter of pride for our community. It shouldn’t take stepped-up enforcement to bring this problem under control.

But, sadly, there are a lot of people who just don’t care. This why the efforts of Vannoster and Baker are welcomed.

Happy hunting, guys.

Dale Hogg