BANGS - The Bangs City Council gave its support to a current effort to reduce citywide blight and add teeth to its code enforcement efforts.
With tall grass, abandoned cars, dilapidated buildings and various other eyesores throughout Bangs, Mayor Eric Bishop updated the city council on efforts to create a city code enforcement position and providing the training and certification to back any code enforcement infraction.
"Before we put another badge on someone and tell them they're the code enforcement person, we want to have them sit down and workshop where we take it from entry to possible disposition of certain instances we've already run up against with our previous (officer)," Bishop said. "We've talked about going and getting someone certified in code enforcement so we have better standing in municipal court ... We have no ordinance about tall grass. What we've tried to do for the last eight years is operate with the health department rule, which says 36 inches."
Bishop said he has worked with Bangs Police Chief Jorge Camarillo on creating a plan of addressing city code enforcement once the city has an officer in place. Bishop added he, Camarillo and other officers with the BPD will meet later this week now that the council gave its support to move forward. Despite having many codes on the books for years, Bishop said enforcement will not be an overnight process and anticipates it taking months.
"If you drive around, then you can probably make a list of a hundred different things that need to be taken care of," Bishop said. "We need to know going in what we're going to tell the when they tell us 'we're not going to do it because so-and-so had tall grass or cars in their yard ... Understand we're going to have a long period, I mean 6 months, of communication of letting people know what we're asking them to do."
Bishop and the council agreed there were a variety of reasons code enforcement in Bangs may have gotten out of hand in some areas whether from not having code enforcer, not having a certified code enforcer or not having a certified code enforcer who enforces the codes. Regardless of the reason, board members seemed enthusiastic in riding the city of its blight.
"It's very good, if it's done correctly, for economic development," Councilwoman Carrol Wells said. "I attended a workshop in Brady the Saturdays ago. It was sponsored by Texas A&M and the one thing we heard time after time in the one-day long presentation was how many times a company will hear about property they have a possibility of putting a business in. They don't necessarily tell you when they're going to come. The first thing they do is look at your website, then they show up in your community. Based on first impressions is generally what is the deciding factor."
The council also:
Accepted the resignations of Brittany Hanley from the municipal development board and Lori Keeney from the economic development board. Received a request form Christina Guerrero for various street closures as part of a June color run 5K. Approved adding Presidents Day to the city holiday schedule.