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Posted on: August 20, 2018

New program encourages neighbors to help keep Republic looking good

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Click here for a video highlighting the new Community Standards Advisement Program:

REPUBLIC, Mo. - The effort to keep our community safe and beautiful takes each of us working together. In rare instances, some citizens may fall short when it comes to doing their part.

"The number one thing this time of year, of course, is, of course, the grass or the weeds,' said Chuck Montag, City of Republic Code Compliance Officer.  "The number two thing would be an accumulation of previous yard waste."

Other problems include yards with trash, furniture, junk, yard waste, inoperable vehicles, or broken fences. Issues like these are unsightly and a nuisance to neighbors. More importantly, they are a public safety hazard. There are city codes against having unkempt properties. Enforcement is complaint driven. That means, if a neighbor makes a report, you could get a warning and eventually a ticket if it's not resolved.

"There are a certain number of people who feel this is my property and I can do with it what I want, Montag said.  "But it has never been a tenant of our system to allow a person to do whatever they want when it infringes upon their neighbors.

Now, comes a new effort called the Community Standards Advisement Program. The goal is to inform citizens and help make changes before a neighbor notices and complains, and it becomes a legal matter.

Montag explained, "The tag I am going to be hanging on doors is a very bright fluorescent green. So, if you see one hanging on your neighbor's door, it is not that they have done anything wrong. It is just that a problem has been noted, and we are trying to help them get through that problem to make the neighborhood look better."

It's not a warning, and it's not about enforcement. In fact, it's an educational effort with the goal of preventing enforcement.

"In order to avoid a complaint (which may end up in a trip to court or an abatement action- which is a very costly thing for a citizen), if we can advise them and educate them on what they may not realize is a violation of the city codes, and help them get through this and get into compliance. Then, they will never get to the point where they will be cited in court," said Montag.

If code officers notice items of concern, they'll drop off one of these friendly reminders asking you to take care of the situation.

Montag said, "And the end goal is to stop the complaints. If we can provide relief...if we can provide compliance before we get to the court stage, then everything can be done in a very non-adversarial way. It can be done in such a way that we have all the time in the world to correct the problem."

For questions, contact the city's Office of Code Compliance at 417-732-3175.

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