Building enforcement officials in Elizabethton are cracking down on property maintenance issues with downtown businesses.
They're called property maintenance sweeps. It's part of a city wide program targeted to improve property conditions and appearances throughout Elizabethton.
Director of Planning and Development Jon Hartman says the sweeps are meant to educate owners.
"Sometimes it's just helpful for the building owners to kind of step back and take a look and see what the second and third floors of those buildings look like," says Hartman.
And to correct unsightly or even unsafe conditions. News 5 found that the biggest issue discovered was flaking or peeling paint.
Orange slips of paper, containing a checklist, instructed building owners what needs to get done.
The Coffee Company is just one of the many businesses in downtown Elizabethton that has received the orange slip of paper.
Beth Henthorne is the manager of The Coffee Company. She thinks the inspections and notices are a great idea.
"It's a plus for any of our businesses. We get people from out of town that stop and check us out because they like appearances. Then they'll step in the stores and maybe try what we have to offer," adds Henthorne.
However, Hartman says most owners were receptive.
"We really didn't have anyone that was overly upset. We had a few people who questioned and pointed 'well my neighbor next door has this problem' but overall it was well received," says Hartman.
If you've received the orange slip, you have 21 days to fix the issue. After that, the next warning is more intense.
"If you're found in violation of the city ordinances and you go before the judge, at that point, you can be issued a $50.00 a day fine for every day you're not in compliance," says Hartman.
Jon Hartman also tells News 5 in addition to peeling and flaking paint, they also noticed some deterioration on the edges of windows and doors and some properties received violations for weeds or plants longer than six inches in height.
The best advice for business owners -- fix these minor issues now before it really costs you.
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