Harrisburg to enforce code citations following city-wide cleanup

Updated: Apr. 24, 2021 at 6:36 PM CDT
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HARRISBURG, Ark. (KAIT) - The city of Harrisburg is hoping to clean up neighborhoods with stricter code enforcement.

City officials have received several complaints about unkept yards with large appliances or garbage.

Several community members told Region 8 News Friday the amount of junk in yards has gotten out of hand.

Vickie Sutton lives in Harrisburg and says it’s not a new issue.

“I’ve seen several that probably needed to be cleaned up,” said Sutton. “When it’s all junked up, it makes your neighborhood look bad and then you’ve got critters running around that shouldn’t be.”

That’s led to a city-wide cleanup that will take place through the end of April, offering free pick up to citizens on any junk or unwanted items.

Interim Police Chief Chris Crews says the city is just trying to help keep Harrisburg beautiful.

“If you can get it to the edge of the road, they’re going to come by with heavy machinery and we’re going to pick it up,” said Crews.

Crews said once the cleanup is over, citations will be issued per the updated cleanup ordinance.

“We’ll start working street-by-street, house-by-house and make sure that all the yards are kept mowed and no unwanted trash or garbage or anything such as unused washing machines, vehicles, fridges are not there to be an eyesore for the community,” said Crews.

Those not up to code will be given a citation, following a visual inspection.

Then, they’ll be given a list of what needs to be done and have seven days to bring the home to 100% compliance.

If the home does not meet compliance after seven days, another citation will be issued.

After a third citation, the city can then enter the property, and the home or property owner will be responsible for any expenses to bring the property to 100% compliance.

Mayor Justin Kimble told Region 8 News keeping the city looking nice is important when it comes to bringing in new businesses, or when someone is deciding if they want to live in the area.

Crews said keeping yards clean is also a way to keep people safe.

“We want to bring as many people to Harrisburg as we can, we also don’t want a breeding ground for mosquitoes or snakes or anything like that,” said Crews.

Residents told Region 8 News they were happy to see a stricter code enforcement, and said it’s about time people were held accountable.

“This is a nice town, I’d like to keep it nice,” said Sutton.

Chief Crews said the city will work with community members however they can.

“If they’re struggling or have any issues we might can see if we can meet in the middle,” said Crews. “But the end result is if all else fails, a citation will be issued and it will go through the district court.”

Citations will not be issued until all cleanup days are complete.

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