Century Votes To Bring Escambia County Code Enforcement Back To Town

January 27, 2009

The Town of Century has voted to enter into an agreement with Escambia County that will bring code enforcement back to the town for the first time in several years.

The council approved an agreement with Escambia County Code Enforcement at a Monday night meeting by a 3-0 vote. Council members Henry Hawkins and Gary Riley did not attend the meeting.

The agreement calls for Escambia County to provide code enforcement for both county and town ordinances within the city limits. The enforcement will be “proactive”, according to Sandra Slay, Escambia County’s code enforcement manager. The code officers will not respond to citizen complaints within the Town of Century; rather, the officers will seek out violators.

“There’s no more calling in on your neighbor,” Century Mayor Freddie McCall said, referring to Century’s previous attempts at code enforcement that had neighbors literally turning each other in.

“The first thing, we are going to do is go up Highway 29,” Slay told the council. She said her officers would spend one day, most likely Wednesday, each week in Century. “We are going to address every violation as we target an area.”

“I think you are going to have your hands full for a long time,” Council President Ann Brooks told Slay.

Slay told the council that her officers are able to work efficiently from their vehicles. They will be able to issue citations, record information and search property records with wirelessly connected laptops in the county trucks.

The average citation provides seven day for violator to rectify a problem like overgrown or debris-covered property. On a major violation, like a dilapidated building, the most time code enforcement can provide by law is 30 days.

“We can come back later and work with them,” Slay said. “We do have that flexibility.” She said the county will try to find an agency to assist those that cannot afford to resolve their code issue, or they will refer the violator to the mayor who will assist in finding them help.

The county’s code enforcement in Century will be funded out of a $50,000 Community Development Block Grant, and all fines collected will go to the county. There will be no direct cost to the town.

The agreement must now be approved by the Escambia County Commission before it is finalized.

Previously, Century ended an agreement with Escambia County to provide code enforcement in the town. Under that agreement, the county’s code enforcement officers worked Century and wrote citations that were turned over to the town for abatement. The services were provided by the county at no charge to Century.

The arrangement came under fire, with allegations that the county’s officers provided selective enforcement, citing some people but no others. That prompted the council to sever the relationship with Escambia Code Enforcement. Currently, there is no code enforcement at all in the town.

Pictured above: Dilapidated buildings such as this one along Highway 29 might become the target of code enforcement in Century. NorthEscambia.com file photo, click to enlarge. 


5 Responses to “Century Votes To Bring Escambia County Code Enforcement Back To Town”

  1. taxpayer on February 2nd, 2009 2:38 pm

    “Century Votes To Bring Escambia County Code Enforcement Back To Town”

    What a Statement, after years of “NOT” wanting them around….now you see what can happen when you don’t somewhat control what people let happen on their own property!

  2. S.L.B on January 27th, 2009 3:05 pm

    Thank you so much Century Council members….it’s about time!

    I am looking forward to seeing the beginning of our town’s clean up process and improvements. Mr.Greatful above, made some very good points in his comment and in which I very much agree with him.

    After you get a handle on Hwy 29, I would like to recommend that West Hwy. 4 be your next target, as many out of town visitors travel this road almost daily on their way to school related events and/or activities at Northview High School.


  3. Terri Sanders on January 27th, 2009 2:23 pm

    Congratulations to the city council for finally takng this issue to heart.Forget
    good ole boy politics.Let the county come in and help us clean up our town.Maybe.. just maybe some businesses will come into town if it is cleaner .Of course then we would have to support those business even if their price is higher than the big guys in Pensacola. Until we support our local people we will not grow and if we are not growing we are stagnating. I hope the inspectors feel free to come to my shop and use my free wi-fi to do their reports and research.Who knows,I might even give them a glass of tea!

  4. Mr. Greatful on January 27th, 2009 8:24 am

    Work out an agreement with the local state prison to knock down the structure and haul it off. Property owner charged a reduced rate as state prisoners already funded by taxpayers, but full rate for disposal. Just Hwy. 29 could take a year. What a deployable situation the town has allowed itself to present to the public. This should help tremendously.

  5. Nikki on January 27th, 2009 7:05 am

    Does Century own a bulldozer? They are going to need one to clean up the place.