Clean your mess or pay the price

Clean your mess or pay the price »Play Video
PASCO, Wash. -- Pasco has a beefed up team to keep the city looking smart. Code enforcement isn't waiting for your complaints, it now has four people on the streets to look for trouble spots.

Alex Piper has appreciated the heavy hand he's seen from code enforcement in Pasco. He had a slight run-in himself.

"There was some stuff behind the garage, I almost got fined," said one neighbor, Alex Piper.

Alex has been on top of his home's appearance ever since. And wishes more people did the same.

"If only one neighbor would clean the area up, the rest of the neighbors would be embarrassed and they might start cleaning up, too," he said.

And soon there won't be a choice. For the first time in 5-years, Pasco's Code Enforcement Department is fully staffed. Adding a fourth officer and more resources means a closer eye on homes and businesses.

"We're anxious to get going and with the changes in technology and some of our computer software, we'll be able to do a relatively good job," said Pasco Code Enforcement, Rick White.

The city says warnings spiked by almost 40% over the past two years. People are told what needs to be fixed before they're fined. All those warnings have created a backlog of several hundred complaints and cases. Most are for rental properties, accounting for over 2,000 violations.

The department intends to tackle the back log while taking a proactive approach to issuing citations. Dividing up the city into 4 sections, one for each officer.

"We've assigned each of our inspectors districts so each inspector will be responsible for everything that goes on in that district, much like a police officer's beat," said White.

Neighbors like Alex say it's a smart move.

"You don't even need code enforcement if you had everything clean and neat," said White.

If you think your neighbor's property is out of line and want to report a code violation, call the City of Pasco or file it online.