Town revisits code enforcement

By Lucas Vance lvance@civitasmedia.com

March 26, 2014

WINNSBORO — Winnsboro town council has put the hiring of a code enforcement officer back on the table.

Nearly a year after tabling the final reading of a property maintenance code for the town, council will vote on the ordinance in the April 1 meeting.

The monies have been budgeted for the hire of a code enforcement officer, but there are no property maintenance codes to enforce town manager Don Wood noted.

Councilman Jack Wilkes believes council should move forward to fill the position.

“I think its about time we go ahead and implement that position,” Wilkes said. “I feel like its time to fill this position and start enforcing these codes.”

Councilman Clyde Sanders played devil’s advocate and expanded on the idea of allowing the county to enforce the codes rather than the town hiring someone.

Sanders said it would be cheaper to pay the county some money to enforce the codes rather than hire an employee, pay for their benefits and a vehicle to be used.

“Even though we are the Town of Winnsboro, we are a part of Fairfield County,” he stated. “Before we make a hire, I think we need to talk to the county.”

Mayor Roger Gaddy said Wood would be the facilitator in talks with the county and interim administrator Milton Pope.

“It would be beneficial and cost effective to do it through the county,” Gaddy admitted. “However, the county can still say yes, no or negotiate a price. But it certainly would behoove us if they say no to go ahead and hire our own officer.”

Wood reminded council that legally, there are still no ordinances to enforce.

“Before we do anything, there has to be an ordinance to enforce,” he noted. “We spent months on this things last year.”

In Sept. of 2013, the final reading of the ordinance was tabled.

“We would have to have something to enforce before we move forward,” he explained. “We have to have y’all (council) take some action to accept this, reject it or modify it before hiring an enforcement officer has anything to do with it.”

Ordinances for the county and town are similar, but the fines do vary.

Gaddy said the town would vote on the ordinances before moving forward with a hire or contracting the work out to the county.

“First thing we need to do is to pass the codes we have if that’s what we’re satisfied with and then go to the county and see if they’re interested in enforcing our codes,” he stated.