Resident voices concerns

Published 7:35 pm Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Suggests city hire person to enforce housing codes

Dot Moate, a city resident and member of the city’s Planning Board, wants the city to hire a code-enforcement officer.

Moate presented her request to the City Council during its meeting Monday. Her request was part of her comments concerning budget-related matters.

“I believe it’s time for us to get an enforcement officer for the City of Washington. We talked about it a few years back and it was put in the budget. It was pulled before it was ever adopted,” Moate said. “In order for us to keep our town tourist-friendly, I think we need someone to make sure that we maintain certain items within the city that would attract citizens, attract new people to the area and tourists. There are a lot of buildings that are not meeting any kind of codes, that people are living in. There are buildings that have not heat. It’s not being enforced. I know this from a personal experience. That’s one of the things I believe an inspector could do — an enforcement-type inspector.”

Moat expressed concerns about the deteriorating condition of some of the houses on North Market Street, which she considers a major thoroughfare in the city that is used often.

“Some of the housing on North Market is getting to be ridiculous. I think something needs to be done. I know a lot of them are owned by an individual. They’re not being kept up; they’re getting worse by the day,” Moate said. “That is not an attractive thing for this town, and it does not promote the city at all. A lot of people going out to the ballgames and the schools go right past this mess. So, it’s time for us to try and do something about it.”

Moate also said the city should continue monitoring downtown parking.

“We find we still have merchants that are parking more than the allowed three hours. So, I think that needs to be addressed some more,” she said.

Moate also offered a suggestion regarding the city’s parks and recreation program.

“I think before the city decides to purchase or acquire future recreational property, we need to take a long, good look at it because, my personal, opinion, we have more now than we can really, truly take care of in the way it should be done.”

Moate, who lives near Warren Field Airport, said she’s also noticed that when it rains after leaves have fallen to the ground in the fall, the ditches become clogged.

“A lot of the citizens do not put the leaves where the city says put them when you’ve raked them. They put them right down in the gully. I know it’s miserable trying to keep it clear, but (there) needs to be some kind of enforcement, a watchdog to make sure they don’t rake the leaves into the drainage areas on those streets.”

The council, which is beginning its preliminary work on the 2015-2016 fiscal year budget, took no action regarding Moate’s requests.





About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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