City taking active role in keeping Columbia clean, safe

POSTED: 07:03 PM CDT Oct 17, 2013    UPDATED: 07:34 PM CDT Oct 17, 2013 
COLUMBIA, Mo. -

The City of Columbia Office of Neighborhood Services released a report that shows the office handled more than 6,000 housing code violation cases last year.

The office is not writing people up just to give tickets or charge fines, rather they are sending out inspectors to check homes and apartments to keep Columbia clean, and more importantly, safe.

Inspectors check for violations like trash or furniture in the yard, cars in the yard, broken windows, severely chipped paint, overgrown weeds or grass, or trees too close to the home.

Leigh Britt with Neighborhood Services said that 68 percent of violation cases come from inspectors, while the rest came from neighbor complaints.

When a violation is found, Neighborhood Services writes the homeowner a complaint, and gives the owner 20-30 days to fix it.

If no action is taken, the case could go to municipal court.

Britt hopes that the efforts from Neighborhood Services will deter crime.

"It sends a message to people that 'Hey, we care about where we live, we take care of it,'" said Britt.