Living in cities and towns has both benefits and responsibilities.
A property owner is responsible for keeping his/her property in a habitable condition, grass at a reasonable height and free of debris, among city codes.
The Fort Scott Codes Department provides information and assistance regarding permits, zoning, and Fort Scott codes and regulations, according to the city’s website.
Lyle Brittain, 25, was introduced at the Fort Scott Chamber of Commerce Weekly Coffee on May 30 as a new codes officer for the city.
Brittain earned an associates degree in business from Fort Scott Community College in 2014, and has owned a landscape business for 12 years he said.
His duties in the codes officer position are to inspect properties for compliance of grass height, proper electrical and gas systems, and additionally, issuing building permits, he said.
“We drive up and down streets,” Brittain said. “We will take complaints (about properties) and they will be addressed as soon as we can.”
The codes department can be reached by calling the city office at 223-0550. The hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“We are allowed on private property unless the owner tells us to leave,” Brittain said.
“We don’t want to make people mad,” he said. “We introduce ourselves and let them know if they don’t get the codes violation done, there will be a legal letter coming.”
“The letter will give a certain amount of days to get the issue resolved, say for instance grass getting too high (on a property),” Brittain said. “If the city has to use its’ resources of manpower and machine to resolve the issue, it’s $300.”
A code the public may not know about concerns properties that are deemed uninhabitable.
“You can’t live in a house without electricity or water or sewer services,” Brittain said. “That’s considered an uninhabitable condition.”
Rhonda Dunn is the Fort Scott Director of Finance and Codes, and Adam Harrison is the newly created codes supervisor.
Lyle is married to Liz Brittain and the son of Bill and Michelle Brittain.