The Fire Department has taken over code enforcement duties in a move that city officials said might save taxpayers about $80,000 a year.
"It's a natural extension of what we're doing," said Fire Marshal Don Tully, head of the Fire Prevention Division, which last month took over duties usually handled by employees from the Planning Department.
City officials said the system also will make code enforcement more efficient because more people will be placed on the job. Tully said four officers in his department now constitute the code enforcement team, and each will be responsible for a particular area in the city.
For years, the city had only two employees to check on abandoned vehicles and poorly maintained properties, and to investigate other code violations such as building overcrowding, officials said.
City Manager Bill Smith said the Fire Department took over after the city's remaining code enforcement employee quit in August.