Marthasville begins city code enforcement after years without

Adam Rollins
Posted 8/30/21

The city of Marthasville is putting residents on notice that property maintenance codes will no longer be something that only exist on paper. A recently appointed code enforcement officer has been …

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Marthasville begins city code enforcement after years without

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The city of Marthasville is putting residents on notice that property maintenance codes will no longer be something that only exist on paper. A recently appointed code enforcement officer has been making the rounds this month, providing notices of violations including derelict vehicles and unkept property.

The warnings could evolve into citations or fines if they aren’t addressed in a timely manner, city officials said.

Marthasville has been without any code enforcement since the board of aldermen voted to disband its small police department in 2017. Since then, the Warren County Sheriff’s Department has been enforcing state laws in town, but only a locally appointed officer can enforce city ordinances.

The lack of any substantial code enforcement led to numerous complaints to the board of aldermen about run down properties, said Mayor David Lange.

“The board has received complaints on various code violations, be it tall weeds or derelict vehicles, trailers, boats and campers sitting around randomly in yards,” said Lange. “The board has decided to enforce codes a little stronger.”

All violations are being notified to property owners with warnings, which property owners are given time to correct before any penalty, Lange said. But a lot of issues now being notified are violations that have existed for years, he added.

The reinstatement of code enforcement led to mixed response from residents, some of whom are eager to see nearby properties cleaned up, while others felt taken by surprise when they started receiving warnings. Notices began being distributed in the first week of August, but the city didn’t place a message about the action on its Facebook page until the end of that week. 

“Think about all the headaches and (complaining) this would have prevented if they just would have posted this on Monday,” one community commenter said in response to the Facebook announcement.

However, Lange said city hall staff have been mailing a general advisory about code enforcement along with utility bills for the past six months, trying to give ample notice to residents.

In fact, the city government had actually intended to begin code enforcement much earlier this year. A dedicated code enforcement officer was hired, but shortly thereafter had to resign for personal reasons, Lange said. The city then had difficulty finding anyone else interested in taking on the part-time code enforcement job, so they assigned the task to an assistant city clerk.

Since the clerk began making rounds, Lange said some property owners have been displeased to receive warnings, but that most people are willing to address any issues that have been identified.

“We’re not doing this to pick on anybody, we’re doing this to clean up the town. We’d appreciate if everyone would do their part to help clean up their properties,” Lange said.

Any code enforcement warnings will be distributed in a clearly marked envelope from the city of Marthasville. For any questions about a warning, call city hall at 636-433-5554.

For more information about city codes, go online to marthasvillemo.gov/city-administration/city-ordinances-codes.

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