New Castle Code Enforcement Department (NCCED) is committed to leading the City of New Castle into the future. However, we need the support of homeowners, landlords, tenants, business owners, service organizations, etc. to make this possible. So, the administration wants to share the following Code Enforcement Department vision with you;
- Education – Ordinances are the guidelines that Code Enforcement follows to ensure that everyone is in compliance with the cities plans for Community and Economic Development. Therefore, these ordinances should be easily accessible to residents. You can find code ordinances on www.newcastlepa.org
- Cooperation – at the core of Code enforcement it is a priority that we communicate with and earn the trust of the members of our community. Through building bonds and networks of vigilance and reliable reporting in each neighborhood code can act quickly to protect the community from blight and uphold the resident’s highest property maintenance values
- Adaptation – code enforcement is essentially a legal process that requires constant attention as the needs of the community change. Currently, the City is faced with blight remediation – both residential and commercial. As we work with residents to direct the City toward a prosperous future, we will need to provide City council with the necessary information and feedback to make ordinances effective for the transformation of the city.
Code doesn’t just enforce; Code promotes growth and development. As a team, NCCED and the Community and Economic Development Department are working to innovatively and collaboratively lead initiatives intended to beautify the city. Here are some of our current initiatives that’ll revolutionize NCCED allowing us to provide efficient and effective services to all city residents:
- Munilogic Data Management System
- Seamless data exchange across City departments
- Repository lot inventory and classification
- Better identification of how repository lots require maintenance and how they can best be made into City assets
- Vacant property inventory and registration initiative – Residential AND Commercial
- Blight is often the result of vacant and unsupervised properties
- By clearly identifying vacant or abandoned properties we can focus our efforts toward remediating blight
- City ordinances require registration fees for properties that have remained vacant for a year
- As we create an inventory of vacant properties Code officers will begin to enforce these registration fees
- Side lot adoption initiative
- Community service engagement
- Code has recently negotiated an agreement with Lawrence County Adult probation to provide supervision and opportunities to complete community service hours.
- Work includes the maintenance of repository lots maintained by the Code department grass crew
- Blight prevention grant
- Keystone Block Grant collaborative with Don Services
- City Champions Initiative
- C.H.A.M.P.S. – Concerned Households Address Municipalities Progress
- Neighborhood watch type program
- Community leaders working with the city within the community
- Surveillance cameras
- Going completely remote with new data management system in Code officer cars
What is the CHAMPS Initiative?
CHAMPS means Concerned Households Addressing Municipal Progress and Safety
“As a part of the restructuring of the Code Department we will be working closely with the Mayor and Department of Economic and Community Development to build and support neighborhood associations by census tract.” – Parker Maynard
Code enforcement staff are currently signing up City resident property owners that have an interest in joining in an effort to provide eyewitness information to the Code Enforcement Department regarding blight and potential code violations in their neighborhood. As CHAMP steering committees are established neighborhood meetings or ‘huddles’ will be scheduled (with social distancing protocol in mind) to prioritize the concerns and points of action for each census tract neighborhood.
“I’m excited about the CHAMPS initiative. It is one of many answers we need in addressing blight and neighborhood revitalization. Buy-in is key and through CHAMPS we can achieve buy-in. We want households (renter, homeowners, property owner) alike to value their property and in turn they will the property of their neighbors. CHAMPS are the catalyst for revitalization.” -Mayor Frye
Please go to the Report a Concern section of the City’s website to provide your contact information if you are interested in joining this effort to address blight in your neighborhood. Simply enter ‘CHAMPS’ along with a few words describing your primary concern for your immediate neighborhood in the ‘Your Message’ section of the Report a Concern on-line form.
The CHAMPS neighborhood association initiative is designed to build bridges of communication (primarily digital) CHAMPS steering committee leaders and code enforcement staff in order to obtain more accurate code-related information for our officers thus optimizing code officer’s efforts and reducing the amount of exaggerated and false complaints fielded by code staff.
“Our aim is to increase our reach into all areas of the City by having accountable homeowners who live in their neighborhood reporting what they have to deal with on a daily basis. It’s about empowerment for people who are passionate about the beauty and value of their community. We want to give these resident property owners hope that their efforts to maintain a safe and beautiful neighborhood matters and will be fully supported by code enforcement and the City’s administration.” -Parker Maynard