CALEXICO — With changes to its nuisance-abatement ordinance still pending final approval, Calexico officials are wasting little time seeking to hire a firm to carry out the program meant to clean up properties in violation of the reworked ordinance.
The Calexico City Council
at its Feb. 5 meeting was expected to consider an agreement with Fire
Prevention Services, Inc., of El Cajon. The firm would carry out “weed and
rubbish nuisance-abatement services,” according to a report to the council
prepared by City Manager David Dale.
The meeting occurred after
this newspaper’s deadline.
At the same meeting, the
council was to consider final approval on the revised nuisance-abatement
ordinance. If approved, the ordinance would go into effect after 30 days.
The changes to the
nuisance-abatement ordinance would further define what constitutes violations, including
piled up trash, overgrown weeds and other eyesores.
The ordinance would protect
the city from liability on proceeding with the cleanup of such sites while
letting property owners know what they can expect of the process. Meanwhile,
the services agreement under consideration would put in place the company carrying
out the duties.
“The city does not have
the necessary resources, both in staff time and funding, to conduct abatement
for weed and rubbish problems,” Dale’s report states. “Therefore, it is
recommended to engage a consultant to design and implement a comprehensive
nuisance-abatement program providing weed and rubbish nuisance-abatement
services. The agreement is free of charge to the city. All costs will be
recovered from the property owners per the city municipal code.”
The contract with Fire
Prevention Services would be good from its approval through Dec. 31, 2020, with
up to five automatic one-year renewals.
It appears as though
monthly reporting would be made to the city, including updates on first and
final reports on code violations, number of parcels forcibly abated by the
contractor, number of parcels cleaned up voluntarily by the property owner and
number of parcels in compliance with the nuisance-abatement ordinance.
All the duties handled by
Fire Prevention Services, which would include inspection services,
administrative services, trash and weed removal, even down to posting notices
and preparing reports, will cost the city nothing. All costs, according to
Dale’s report, come from the detailed billings sent to the property owner who
is in violation of the ordinance.
Calexico officials have
been focusing heavily on decisions meant to clean up the entire city, but also
zone in on the blighted downtown shopping district. Other actions include
enhanced street-sweeping, locked gates on alleys, and requiring downtown
business owners and merchants to lock their trash bins, the latter of which was
also up for final approval on Feb. 5.
Many of the decisions,
including the nuisance-abatement revisions, are also meant to stop the possible
spread of fires on areas with overgrown weeds and trash, Dale’s report states.