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Despite the New Year, Bay County Code Enforcement is still facing old challenges

Several walls inside what's known as the Bay County Code Enforcement's "war room" displays some of the hundreds of properties still out of compliance as a result of Hurricane Michael. (WJHG/WECP)
Several walls inside what's known as the Bay County Code Enforcement's "war room" displays some of the hundreds of properties still out of compliance as a result of Hurricane Michael. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: Jan. 6, 2020 at 5:13 PM CST
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It may be a new year but Bay County Code Enforcement is facing an old problem.

"It can be very overwhelming," said Kathi Ashman, Bay County Code Enforcement Manager.

"So everyone that you see up here on this wall has had a notice of violation," said Ashman pointing to a wall in what would normally be considered an office kitchen. Now, it serves as a makeshift room full of organized photos of unincorporated Bay County's Code enforcement cases.

"When they contact us after getting that letter and they discuss what their plans are, we have the ability to give them an extension, so you'll see some of these have extensions," said Ashman.

A little more than 1,000 properties were in violation of code as of October, but code enforcement has since worked with property owners to lower that number to about 875.

"Then it'll go to the notice of hearing which is on this side of the room," said Ashman.

She says to ask her about the final code enforcement case in a year.

Despite how challenging her job may be, she said seeing these properties improve is what gives her hope.

"For example, this one had no roof on it and now it's a house again," noted Ashman pointing to one of the roughly 200 homes on the wall of voluntary compliance.

She looks forward to when the compliance wall is totally filled one day.

Copyright 2020 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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