Keeping PACE in the Hilltop

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By Sandi Latimer
Staff Writer

The city’s code enforcement program is planning to sweep through the south central Hilltop area this summer in an attempt to have the area spruced up.

The invitation from the Pro-Active Code Enforcement (PACE) team to enter that area was accepted by the Greater Hilltop Area Commission at the April 7 meeting.

Edgar Dillon, a supervisor of the city’s PACE team, said a team of four code enforcement officers and a supervisor will come into an area and go door-to-door inspecting the houses for code violations and issue citations to property owners to make the needed repairs.

According to Dillon, the target area is bounded on the north by Sullivant Avenue, on the east by Richardson Avenue, on the south by Eakin Road, and on the west by Hague Avenue. He said an estimated 650 houses are within that section.

The PACE team has worked in the northland and south Linden areas and is now working in Franklinton.

After his presentation and invitation to come onto the Hilltop, the proposal received an endorsement from a resident of the area.

“I’m out every day cleaning up trash,” said Lisa Boggs. “I deserve this in my neighborhood. We need help.”

Commissioner Keith Chaldis wanted to know who steps in with help if the resident or property owner doesn’t have the means to pay for the recommended repairs. Dillon was unable to answer that question, saying that code enforcement officers could only write up violations. Nor could he answer questions concerning whether a violation was a civil or a criminal offense, saying it was up to the city attorney’s office to make that determination.

However, he did indicate a high compliance rate to citations as the property owners seek to avoid court appearances for not tending to the violation.

The commission cast a 10-0 vote to invite the team into the specified area, and Dillon said a team could possibly be in the area in June around the beginning of summer.

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