BARRE, Vt. – Trash and dumping have been a big problem in Barre. It’s not hard to find a yard littered with garbage and that takes a toll on some people.
“You work hard to take care of your lawn because you want your stuff to look nice and then your neighbor, not so much,” Kathy Peterson said.
“And it really does reflect on you.”
Peterson is sick of Barre's trash problem and so are Barre code enforcement officers, especially this time of year.
“When the snow is gone and there are no leaves around that is when the complaints start coming in. You know the tires and garbage piles and people that haven't taken care of their household garbage,” Barre Deputy Fire Chief and code enforcer Joseph Aldsworth said.
While this summer hasn't been perfect they say it's a lot better than last year. The city used to share code enforcement responsibilities with the state three years ago but after the city took over they say things cleaned up a lot.
The first year Barre was fully responsible for code enforcement workers inspected 104 properties after complaints about trash. This past year it was down to 38.
“I think the message has been set the bar has been set here in Barre that this is what we expect,” Aldsworth said.
That message came with a price tag. In some cases, the city had to call in contractors to clean up, and then bill the property owners. But that's a last resort.
“We're not here to be heavy handed or lay the hammer down,” Aldsworth said.
But they do want the trash picked up.