Durant Community Development Director Joseph Marquardt is urging citizens to call his office if they have questions about city codes and ordinances. (The number is 931-6610.)
Specifically, Community Development handles neighborhood nuisances such as overgrown weeds, junk-filled yards and dilapidated structures. Marquardt and Code Enforcement Officer Darla Smith normally respond to citizen complaints about such matters, but they can also take a more proactive approach.
“We just want the public to know what’s in our ordinances and what we look for when we go driving around,” Marquardt said. “Most of the things we write up have been turned in by a concerned citizen who drove by. And when someone does call in a complaint, the nuisance is not abated the next day. We have due process and it can take 60-90 days to abate it.”
He said the biggest problems Durant faces are “grass and weeds, trash and debris.” Not far behind: Dilapidated homes. Last year, 20 were removed by the city and another 20 by their owners.
“Roughly, there are 50 homes I know of that need to come down,” Marquardt said. “We are constantly working on abating dilapidated structures.”
Most people are unaware of the specific ordinances governing trashy yards, high grass and weeds, and homes falling into disrepair. Calling the Community Development office will help sort out the facts.
In brief, here are a few pointers from Durant city ordinances:
- Any untended weeds over 12 inches in height are a nuisance and should be removed.
- Dilapidated buildings: “The neglect of necessary repairs to a building or allowing it to fall into a state of decay or allowing it to fall into partial ruin to such an extent that the building is a hazard to the health or safety or welfare of the general public.”
- Trash: “Any refuse, litter, ashes, leaves, debris, paper, combustible materials, rubbish, offal, waste or matter of any kind or form which is uncared for, discarded or abandoned.”