City leaders discuss code enforcement in Vincennes

VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI) – The Vincennes City Council is in talks about the proposed addition of a code enforcement officer. The officer, if talks are adopted and approved by the council, would enforce city code issues revolving around rental properties and problem properties in the city. City Council President, Duane Chattin, talked with News 10 Monday about the position.

“What we’ve come up with is a proposal to create a position of a code enforcement officer that would deal with both rentals and other properties as well,” said Chattin. Chattin explained a change in Indiana Legislature would require the city to consider a position of this type. According to Chattin, the legislature took away money that allowed for rental property inspections.

Chattin stated the city began taking a hard look at problem properties around the historic neighborhoods in Vincennes following the death of a University student in 1992. The new position would allow the inspector to look at the rental properties to ensure they are up to code. Many of the properties available for rent near Vincennes University are targeted for student tenants.

“It’s more serious than that, in 1992 when the city passed the rental inspection program it was the result of a fire that a University student was killed,” said Chattin.

Chattin explained that the proposed idea is just a conversation at this point, no official moves have been made. But, under the consideration of the council, questions came up about how a proposed position would be funded.

“But in the first year we’re going to need start up funds to do it,” said the council president. “Once again, the devil’s in the details, can we afford it, can we put it into a tight city budget, right now, I think the answer is yes.”

Chattin noted, if the city were to approve a code enforcement officer position, it would pay for itself through violations and fine dollars collected.

“No firm decisions have been made, what it comes down to as always, is can we afford it,” said Chattin.

 

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