The sweep comes just as the Spring college semester concludes and students begin to move out of their homes and apartments. The Oswego Police Department will be patrolling the area to prevent trash and furniture from accumulating in front of rental properties while the Oswego Code Enforcement Office will be focusing their resources on the blighted and dilapidated homes specifically in the designated focus area.
"During our Code Enforcement Sweep we will have a zero tolerance policy for multi-day stockpiling of garbage and furniture and I have authorized the Code Enforcement and Police Departments to immediately take necessary enforcement action as needed to gain compliance from property owners, including immediate ticketing with fines. We will also focus our Code enforcement efforts on blighted properties in our targeted zone and keep the pressure on rental properties and Section 8 HUD Housing registered properties in that area", said Mayor Billy Barlow adding that an organized "sweep" will bring additional code enforcement resources into a smaller targeted area in an effort to mitigate against trash stock piling during college move out week and allow code personnel to better focus on specific problematic properties in an effort to gain compliance and provoke mandated improvements to rental properties. "We've made serious progress City wide with our code enforcement program and I believe if we relentlessly focus and emphasize our efforts on a smaller area for a set time frame we can achieve visible results", Barlow said.
Property owners and tenants are encouraged to make prior arrangements for garbage removal from their property and may be issued appearance tickets for any trash and debris left visible from the street for an extended period of time. The "sweep" will last for ten days starting on May 17th through May 27th including patrols on the weekend and evening hours. Mayor Billy Barlow issued a mailing to City landlords in the designated area to prepare and warn them of the increased enforcement and encouraged landlords to prevent the violations from occurring in the first place. The letter states:
- As a property owner/manager, please develop and adhere to a plan of prompt garbage/debris management and removal particularly between May 17th and May 27th.
- There should be NO multi-day front yard, curbside stockpiling of garbage, debris or furniture. It is unacceptable to wait until the next garbage pickup cycle.
- Property owners/managers should take an active role in managing this process. Past experience has proven that this responsibility cannot and should not be transferred to tenants.
- Should property owners fail to comply with the above expectations, Mayor Barlow has authorized the Office of Code Enforcement and the Oswego City Police Department to immediately take necessary enforcement action as needed to gain compliance.
Courtesy warning letters to property owners were sent as a proactive measure to help make the transition from the end of the semester into summer seamless and prompt property owners to take initiative and ownership on their properties.
Curt Miller, Director of Code Enforcement, said officials will have zero tolerance for landlords who do not immediately respond to issues relating to their property. “Thanks to the support from Mayor Barlow and the Oswego Common Council, we have a stronger code enforcement program reinforced with strong legislation protecting our neighborhoods. The code enforcement blitz is a great way to consolidate our resources and place extra focus in our neighborhoods that see the most activity during this time of year. We ask landlords to be proactive to avoid potential issues and to be responsive during the weekend should any flagrant violations arise.”
City of Oswego Police Chief Tory DeCaire said the Oswego Police Department would be assisting code enforcement officials during the blitz and added “by participating in the Code Blitz, the Oswego Police Department reinforces its mission to protect, serve, educate, and enhance the quality of life for the citizens of our city. Collaborating with Code Enforcement during these initiatives helps to pool our resources when and where it will have the most productive impact in our neighborhoods.”
In 2018, the ten-day code enforcement blitz resulted in 162 documented violations.