Mancos town officials present photographic case against blight

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Courtesy photo Holly Rankin, the code enforcement officer for Mancos, presented examples of town

A bit of blight can make a big impression.

At the town meeting Wednesday night, city officials presented pictures of junk cars, scrap metal and old tires in yards - blight that they say depresses property values and discourages people from stopping in Mancos.

Holly Rankin, the town code enforcement officer, and Andrea Phillips, the town administrator, presented their findings at the request of the Mancos Town Board.

"The problem is worse than I thought. We could write letters all day," Phillips said.

The town writes letters to code offenders for having overgrown weeds and trees that block the address of the residence, piles of old tires that release chemicals into soil, mounds debris that attract vermin and other eyesores that cause a public health concern.

The town has written 18 letters in the past six months to the worst offenders, and about 80 percent of the residents in those homes complied. The town sends three letters before fining an offender. The town also offers extends help in the letters, although the enforcement officer has yet to receive a call.

The town board started to discuss the problem over the summer, and they want to encourage residents to take advantage of public programs to improve the atmosphere of the town.

"Other communities are cleaning up, and they are showing more economic lift," Rankin said.

The town will pay for half the cost to remove hazardous trees and to repair sidewalks. Citizens can also drop off yard waste for free.

Rankin recommended citizens have salvage companies pick up scrap metal to be recycled.

The board also is exploring the idea of creating a scrap-tire program in April or May in conjunction with Spring Clean Up.

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Courtesy photo Holly Rankin, the code enforcement officer for Mancos, presented examples of town