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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Building inspector steps up enforcement

Thursday, April 15, 2010

One of the downtown Monett buildings that has a yellow notice from Building Inspector George Rausch posted on the window indicating code violations. Since last week this particular building has had a dead pigeon lying inside the door, visible at lower right, which has been reported to the Monett Police Department. A spokesperson said the owner would be contacted. [Times Photo by Murray Bishoff]
Monday was the deadline for owners of seven downtown Monett buildings to improve cosmetic conditions that came to the attend of Building Inspector George Rausch. Yellow notices of violation have been posted on the structures. As of Wednesday, results of the action had been mixed.

"Some are making progress," Rausch said. "Some have contacted us and promised to take action. Two are ignoring us altogether. They will receive summons to Municipal Court."

Each case is different, Rausch said. Over the course of the 30 days since the notices were placed, Rausch has been looking for cooperation in addressing matters like disconnected downspouts and broken windows.

"The two owners who are really making an effort, we'll work with them," Rausch said. "Those that have made minimal changes and stopped, we'll talk to them some more. We want to give them every chance we can."

Rausch had high praise for the way Municipal Judge Michael Garrett has taken building issues seriously. Garrett has focused on code offenses and has not hesitated to use the court's authority in addressing problems.

Once a case reaches Municipal Court, the Monett Building Board has not had to address maintenance issues, according to Rausch. Action by the Building Board can now be reserved for cases where buildings cannot be repaired and demolition is the only recourse. Municipal Court does not order demolitions.

Rausch's office continues to work on residential problems as they surface around town. He reported a Texas bank had foreclosed on a house on the northwest corner of Seventh and Cleveland. The previous occupant left with significant debris remaining in the back yard. Rausch sent violation notices to the bank, which in turn sent a crew in from Texas to clean up.

"They did a fantastic job," Rausch said.

Downtown buildings had become a particular concern to Rausch because of their visibility and significant size in some cases.

"We're working with various states of progress," Rausch added.

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