November 1, 2005 – Posted at 4:39 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO, AR -- Broken windows, crumbling foundations and trash-strewn yards can be reasons for city citations and the Jonesboro community is cracking down.
Inspectors are always on the look out for abandoned houses and illegal dumping. They say it's one of the dirtiest jobs in Jonesboro, but someone's got to do it. And one way they track violators is through the trash….it's not hard to find someone when their name and address is printed on an abandoned pizza box littering a yard.
“You can work with them today, they'll clean it up, and low and behold, next week it's just like it was. So it's a repetitive business...it's a business that I think is pretty secure,” laughed Jonesboro code enforcement officer Ron Shaver.
But what these code enforcers come in contact with on a daily basis is no laughing matter.
“Urine and feces through out the house and lots of roaches,” said Shave, “It's just kind of unreal when you get into this position and this job.”
“We've had dogs after us, people get aggravated. It’s not personal what we do, we're just doing our job, and this is what we do. We’re just trying to clean the town up,” said Jonesboro code enforcement officer Mike Daffron.
Patrolling the streets of Jonesboro eight hours a day, inspectors cite and condemn homes rampant with prostitution and drugs. Places with no running water or electricity...where the residents use trash cans for bathrooms.
“What we are really concerned about is people living with no water, because disease spreads and it's very unsanitary, and then you've got the roach problem,” said Daffron, “The only thing we are doing is asking for people to clean up. We are asking for the landlords to get their houses that are open, broken windows boarded up. We can't have people running in and out of there...junk, debris, we want that cleaned up.”
Fines can range between $60 and $525 dollars, and repeat offenders can even face jail time. To report an incident in your neighborhood, you can call code enforcement in Jonesboro at (870) 933-4658.