Walker County is getting serious about bringing blighted properties up to code and that starts with the addition of two new codes enforcement officers who have already begun going door to door to address the matter.
In the previous administration, there was one codes enforcement officer.
The county now has four officers working to bring properties up to code.
According to Public Relations Director Joe Legge, the officers will begin a targeted campaign this month to address out-of-compliance properties and make the public more aware of several commonly violated codes.
Within the first three months of Whitfield's administration, codes enforcement officers have investigated 114 cases.
That is an increase of 128 percent over the same period last year, in which 79 percent of these cases consists of junk, junk cars, household garbage and dilapidated structures, Legge said.
The northwest end of the county will be the first zone to be addressed.
Zone 1 covers the area between Chattanooga Valley Road and McFarland Avenue, which is south of the state line to Ga. Highway 2.
Based on calls received from residents, codes enforcement officers have already opened cases in Zone 1.
After making initial contact, a codes enforcement officer will allow an out-of-compliance resident 30 days to show progress by addressing the area of concern.
During a follow-up visit — if no corrective action has taken place — the resident may face a fine by the county.
During the Thursday, April 6, commissioner's meeting, Commissioner Shannon Whitfield said, "You'll be seeing more activity as we go through the month as we are increasing our code officers, code enforcements, and getting those vehicles and those folks trained. So we have two new code officers that started Monday, this week, and we are going to be emphasizing code enforcements on the north end of the county. We have set up our first zone, which will cover from Highway 2 to Old Chattanooga Valley Road to the state line and then McFarland Avenue to the city limits of Rossville. So, that zone encompasses that area in the north end of the county. They have already started working on that area and going street by street, working on code enforcement."