The City of Spencer has amended its property maintenance code in response to multiple abandoned burnt building complaints received at City Hall.
Zoning Officer Alvin Gottfried said that in the past only a few people had complained about abandoned burnt structures.
“When it became buildings right on the square that had burned and were not being dealt with,” Gottfried said. “There were lots of people who complained and rightly so.”
Gottfried said his department lacked specific wording in codes to enforce cleanup of burnt structures. He said they especially needed a timeline that could be enforced.
Gottfried said they consulted with legal counsel and found they had no enforcement power in the current city codes.
“The mayor was not in a position to do anything without working through my office,” Gottfried said. “And with no ordinance in place there was nothing I could do in my office other than saying please to people.”
Gottfried said the city alderman recently approved an amendment to a health and sanitation code. He said changes were immediate.
“Apparently knowing that the ordinance had gone into affect, the places that were left uncleaned got cleaned up,” Gottfried said.
Gotttfried said he had gotten numerous comments and compliments from people thankful that things were cleaned up.
“My business is to see that it does get done, and it has,” Gottfried said. “So I’m quite happy with that.”