New code enforcement officer on board to support beautification efforts
To support City of Independence efforts to maintain safe neighborhoods, eliminate blight and enhance beautification, new team member Tailor Dyke has assumed the role of code enforcement officer.
David Cowan, the city’s director of Safety and Code Enforcement, says Dyke, as a resident of Thayer, brings a fresh, unbiased perspective to the job of addressing a wide range of safety and environmental concerns throughout the community.
“Tailor’s role will be to scour the community to pro-actively manage code violations and serve as a resource to residents in addressing issues on their properties,” Cowan said. “She’s energetic, hard-working and ready to get started to help Independence maintain its status as an inviting, welcoming and safe community and a place we all are proud to call home.”
Dyke’s previous employment includes the role of registration specialist at Neosho County Community College; administrative assistant for KVC Kansas; and a teller’s position with Emprise Bank. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Pittsburg State University.
Cowan explained code enforcement falls under the Fire-EMS department in the city’s organizational structure, and an unfilled, budgeted position in that department created the right opportunity to step up the city’s efforts to address concerns expressed by residents in a recent community survey. The survey was part of the city’s strategic planning process, and the results indicated a strong desire for more focus on beautification, he said. Hence, beautification is one of the five key initiatives outlined in the city’s recently adopted strategic plan, along with Economic Development, Infrastructure, Parks & Recreation and Community Spirit & Unity.
Among Dyke’s first assignments is evaluating neighborhoods along the city’s primary thoroughfares of Main Street and Penn Avenue and branching out in each direction from there. For the next two months, she will help the city implement its “60 Days to a More Beautiful Independence” initiative, during which free weekend dumpster access will be provided for residents, and Dyke will issue “courtesy notices” to residents with obvious code violations (junk vehicles, excessive debris and otherwise unsafe properties). The grace period will extend through April 30, after which official violations may be recorded and fines issued.
Each weekend (Friday-Sunday) during the “60 Days” campaign, six city dumpsters will be strategically placed around the community, and city residents are invited to toss in their junk items, including small appliances, construction debris, furniture, etc., Cowan said. Residents are asked to refrain from dumping household trash, tires and hazardous waste, he explained, as other options are available for disposal of those items.
The dumpster placement schedule is as follows:
March 1, 15 and 29 / April 12 and 26:
• Penn & Poplar
• 19th & Poplar
• 6th & Myrtle / parking lot
• 900 W. Laurel / parking lot
• 5th & Oak St.
• 13th & Catalpa
March 8 and 22 / April 5 and 19:
• 13th & Walnut
• Burns & Walnut
• Park Blvd & Sycamore
• 900 W. Laurel / parking lot
• 11th & Catalpa
• 21st & Taylor
In addition to the free dumpster access, the City is indefinitely opening up its weekly recycling collection at the Sanitation Yard, 21st & Maple, to also accept large waste items, such as appliances, tires, larger furniture, etc. Collection time will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Tuesday.
“We heard the community loud and clear that they would like to see more emphasis on beautification,” Cowan said. “Certainly, it is in the best interest of everyone to help our community neighborhoods thrive as safe, inviting spaces for residents and visitors alike.”
Questions or concerns about city codes may be addressed to Dyke at firstname.lastname@example.org or (620) 332-2500 ext. 307.