- Special Sections
Amidst the summer heat, there are things that, as a community, Guymon needs to keep in mind. It may feel like it is too hot to mow the lawn, or useless to pick up the piece of trash the wind blew in because another piece of trash is soon to blow in too, but the City of Guymon encourages all to do their best to maintain a beautiful and clean city.
Code Enforcement Officer, John Shaffer, helps explain some of the bigger issues the city has been facing lately and describes some of the processes and rules that go with those ordinances.
âThe property owner is required to keep the property free of any accumulation of trash or any high weeds,â said Shaffer. âThe ordinances define high weeds as anything over 12 inches tall.â
Shaffer said he is made aware of complaints by calls or emails and then goes to inspect the property that has been complained about. If there is a violation, he then has to take photos of the property in question, then has to enter the information into the software and goes to the courthouse to find the owner of the property. He then sends out a notice that gives them ten days to mow. He also sends out a notice of a hearing for the owner to plead their case if desired. If it is not taken care of in 10 days, they can go in and mow the ownerâs property.
âMost people take care of it when they get a notice,â said Shaffer. âPeople are usually really compliant once they find out that they are responsible for certain parts of their property.â
He said that many people were never aware that they are supposed to take care of the grass in their alley as well and that if utility companies or similar companies have to come tear up the ground on their property, it is still the ownerâs responsibility to up-keep that area after it is torn up.
Shaffer also makes the important point that if the grass isnât mowed in the alley, rodents and snakes can become a danger for meter-readers or other individuals that are required to use the alleys.
Another big topic that has been occurring is the fact that citizens recognize old cars parked in lots and driveways as âjunk.â
âIf itâs on the property, the ordinance says it has to have an expired tag or no tag, and it has to be inoperable for me to take action on it,â said Shaffer. âSo if somebody has a beat up car that doesnât run, but they put a tag on it, I canât do anything with that ordinance, so itâs just going to sit there and look bad until we can find something else to do with it.â
Shaffer said if it is an inoperable vehicle, he fills out a form and takes it to the chief of police to sign, then the owner has ten days to move it, or it gets towed off.
Shaffer says they just adopted a code that allows him to tell owners to repair broken down or falling fences, but he is still learning the processes and guidelines to do so.
Shaffer has words of encouragement for the community of Guymon to help encourage others to keep Guymon clean and looking decent.
âBe respectful of your neighbors. Pick up your trash or anything in your yard you arenât using. What is a treasure to you, may not be a treasure to someone else, but be respectful and try to keep everything clean. If you mow your lawns short instead of letting the weeds accumulate and get thick and tall, it is a lot easier to mow and takes a lot less time.â
He also said that weeds are an extreme fire hazard so keeping them maintained helps alleviate that issue.
Shaffer is creating a Facebook page to help educate people on code enforcement and city ordinances. If there are any additional questions, Shaffer can be reached at his office at phone number 338-5838.