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Jonesboro Public Safety Committee Forwards Maintenance Code to Full Council

The Jonesboro City Council’s Public Safety Committee has forwarded to the full council a proposal to adopt the Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code.  The Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code Committee spent almost 30 hours reviewing sample codes and developing a code for Jonesboro that would deal with making sure residential properties in Jonesboro are properly maintained.  Committee Chairwoman Teresa Beck says the committee voted 6-3 to forward the code to the City Council’s Public Safety Committee for review.  Beck says the code would help the city deal with dilapidated buildings and abandoned properties, as well as set a standard code that all properties should follow. Jonesboro real estate agent Renee Aspinwall said the maintenance code is needed in Jonesboro because it would help keep properties looking their best, which makes houses easier to sell.

Some of those who are against the code say the code’s exterior requirements are not the issue.  The issue involves concerns regarding a right of entry into a home by code officers, as well as interior requirements of the code.  Landlord Charles Willis says if landlords and owners of the property have to address foundation cracks, or make sure the foundation is "plumb", that could cause rent to skyrocket from $500-$600 a month to between $700-$800 a month.  John Hardin served on the committee and was one of the three votes against the code.  He says the code appears to address only landlords when it should be something that should apply to everyone across the board. Landlord Dan Pasmore says he is concerned that people who may not be able to fix the interior of their homes to keep compliant with the code--because they couldn't afford it--could be punished severely, which he says is not what he supports.

The Jonesboro Public Safety Committee forwarded the Jonesboro Property Maintenance Code by a vote of four to one.  The code will be discussed during the November third Jonesboro City Council meeting and will be discussed in three separate readings.   Click on the Listen button to hear this story.  You can also review the entire code here.