IMLAY CITY — The city has dipped into the pool of former law enforcement officers to reel in a new code enforcement officer.
Richard Hogan, a retired Lapeer County deputy and candidate for Sheriff in 2004, will begin his duties as city code enforcement officer on June 18.
City Manager Amy Planck said the cost of a code enforcement officer was built in to this year's city budget, which was approved last month. She said Hogan was one of three candidates interviewed for the position.
"He (Hogan) seemed to be the best fit for us," said Planck. "He's been performing the same duties in Attica Township, and with good results."
In recent months, city officials had expressed concern about an anticipated increase in foreclosed homes and abandoned vehicles because of the state's economic downturn.
Tall grass is among the blight code violations new enforcement officer will keep an eye out for.
Police Chief Arlan Winslow recently stepped up his department's efforts to control blight through more vigorous enforcement of city ordinances.
Police have been issuing tickets to property owners for violations of nuisance ordinances such as tall grass and weeds and abandoned vehicles.
Winslow says the anti-blight campaign has been reaping positive results, citing a marked reduction in observable blight conditions.
Planck explained that Hogan's role will be to enforce only the existing city nuisance codes, not building codes.
"Some people may be under the misconception that he is our building inspector," she said. "He'll only be enforcing regulatory ordinances like grass and weeds, junk cars and barking dogs.
"The hope is that he'll be able to deal with these situations in a face-to-face manner," she added. "Most of these violations are civil infractions that can be paid at the city hall."