KEYSER - The City of Keyser intends to take a bit different approach to getting some of its blighted properties cleaned up.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
@lizbeavers1
KEYSER - The City of Keyser intends to take a bit different approach to getting some of its blighted properties cleaned up.
Almost a year ago, the city hired Jimmy Stewart as a code enforcement officer and charged him with the task of checking out complaints about properties with accumulating trash, high grass and weeks and other public nuisance issues covered under Ordinance 257.
According to city administrator Randy Amtower, Stewart did a good job and was able to get many properties cleaned up. He pointed out, however, that while 10 hours was allotted for the position, Stewart often put in way more time in chasing down the complaints and following through to make sure the appropriate actions were taken.
Recently, however, Stewart accepted a dispatcher position in the Keyser Police Department, and has since been unable to devote the time needed for the code enforcement position.
During the Keyser City Council’s Sept. 13 meeting, Amtower suggested having current city employee Bobby Pritts take over the position.
According to Amtower, Pritts performs maintenance for the city, but “there are times he has downtimes,” and could use that time to answer the property complaints.
Pritts will still be allotted up to 10 hours for the code enforcement position, but Amtower said he feels there are weeks that additional 10 hours would not be needed - therefore the city would be saving money.
Council member Eric Murphy has since suggested having a member of council oversee the code enforcement, but Amtower suggested an office worker who already does the paperwork would serve as his supervisor.
“If we feel we need oversight, we can cross that bridge when we come to it,” council member Terry Liller told the News Tribune.