Winfield to enforce property maintenance ordinance

2013-03-28T20:20:00Z 2013-03-28T22:18:13Z Winfield to enforce property maintenance ordinanceLu Ann Franklin Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
March 28, 2013 8:20 pm  • 

WINFIELD | The town’s building department now has the authority to effectively deal with property management and maintenance problems occurring in current and future residential and commercial developments.

Earlier this week, the Winfield Town Council unanimously adopted the 2012 International Property Maintenance Code.

The move asserts the town’s “power and authority to adopt and enforce ordinances pertaining to the use, development and maintenance of real estate” within the Winfield’s jurisdiction, according to the ordinance language.

The International Property Maintenance Code addresses specific standards that must be met in such areas as utilities, facilities, physical structure, interior workspaces and exterior maintenance.

These standards were proposed after the Town Council was advised by the Winfield building department about various property maintenance issues created by the number of abandoned, foreclosed and neglected properties.

Within the last year, the Winfield clerk-treasurer also has called or demanded payment of performance and maintenance bonds from various developers and builders to correct substandard infrastructure issues such as lift stations for sanitary and stormwater removal.

The money from those bonds is used by the town to correct problems with the infrastructure and maintain those structures.

The 2012 International Property Maintenance Code referred to in the ordinances provides standards, regulations and the authority to condemn and demolish buildings “unfit for human occupancy and use.”

Council President Gerald Stiener and Councilman Jim Simmons heralded the new ordinance as giving the building department inspectors and code enforcement officers the “teeth” and “the backbone” to require developers, builders and property owners to meet specific standards.

In drafting this ordinance, attorneys for Austgen, Kuiper & Associates researched current town ordinances to roll them into the new law. As the international code changes in future years, any conflicting town ordinance will be adjusted, said Attorney Adam Sworden.

The book containing this new code has been downloaded into computer tablets that building department personnel take on site, said Councilman David Anderson.

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