Galt police and the city’s one-man code enforcement department closed 40 cases in October, a record high for staff who work to clean up neighborhood blight.
On average, the city closes between 25 to 35 code enforcement cases per month, so October was a little above normal, according to City Manager Jason Behrmann.
In a recent city newsletter, he said the Galt Police Department had been working with Code Compliance Officer Rusty Hughes to continue addressing neighborhood blight and property maintenance issues throughout the city, focusing on making quality of life issues a high priority.
The overall mission of the city’s Code Compliance Division is to work with property owners and tenants so that their property complies with the Galt Municipal Code primarily related to property maintenance or zoning standards. Typical activities include helping to clean up sub-standard and unsanitary residences, regulating unregistered vehicles on private property and responding to nuisance- or health-related complaints.
Cities often employ an entire department to handle these issues.
In Galt, however, Hughes is the city’s sole code compliance officer. He works in the Community Development Department and handles between 400 and 500 cases a year.
The last time the code enforcement department saw so many calls was in Sept. 2012. Then the busiest month, Hughes closed 39 cases and proactively opened 40 new ones.
In October, Galt Crime Prevention Coordinator T.J. Guidotti partnered with Hughes to address two very big neighborhood problems located on Alice Rae circle and Danny Drive, Behrmann said.
There, the city found a few homes with large items and assorted junk in the front yard, including appliances.
The Alice Rae Circle location has shown great improvement including the filling and hauling away of two large dumpsters of junk and debris, and continues improving the property daily, Behrmann said.
And, he added, staff met with the homeowner of Danny Drive last Tuesday to coordinate a cleanup project.
Hughes’ typical case closure rate exceeds 95 percent on average, meaning he has successfully worked with the property owner to address violations in most cases.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at email@example.com.