BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) –Bay County officials are stepping up on code enforcement now that we are one year after Hurricane Michael.
“Actually we took a step back after the storm with code enforcement,” said Bay County Chairman Philip ‘Griff’ Griffitts. “We know the struggles they are going through.”
But that is now changing.
“Code enforcement is back,” Griffitts said. “Actively pursuing those properties that were problems before the storm and those properties that have been derelict since the storm.”
Starting off, they are focusing on foreclosed, bank-owned properties and other properties that have not been touched since Hurricane Michael.
“We can place monetary fines on the property and eventually we can place a lien on the property through our property tax,” Griffitts said.
They are looking at each property on a case by case basis, and some consequences could be worse than others.
“Whether it’s the cleaning, or in some cases demolition, if we have to demolish a property we will,” Griffitts said.
They hope that the worse case scenario does not have to happen, and that residents will comply with the code enforcement rules.
The county is being lenient too, as they know the struggles that community members have been through.
“We’re gonna work with them as best we can,” Griffitts said. “If they’re fighting with insurance or titles, were gonna obviously use some compassion and work with these folks.
They are working closely with the cities throughout Bay County to make sure their code enforcement policies all line up, to get the county cleaned up as soon as possible.