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Binghamton City Council approves new code enforcement positions

Bing Code Enforcement WEB

VESTAL, NY (WSKG) — Binghamton City Council approved several new staff positions meant to address backlogged code enforcement complaints and address dilapidated properties.

Under measures passed by City Council Wednesday, the city will hire two new code inspectors and an attorney to focus on addressing major violations in court. The new positions would be funded through the end of 2022 using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

City Council also approved allocations from ARPA funds for two new laborer positions with the parks department. The city can dispatch the parks department to mow unkempt lawns and bill property owners for the labor.

The city lowered the maximum height property owners can keep their lawns from 10 inches to eight inches.

Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham said lowering the height will allow the city to target offending properties earlier, giving the code department more time to address them.

City Councilwoman Aviva Friedman opposed the measure to reduce the maximum height of grass in the city. She said constituents voiced concerns to her that the city should be prioritizing other issues other than grass. The measure passed 5-2 with Friedman and Councilwoman Angela Riley opposed.

Vaughn Golden has been reporting across New York since 2016. Working as a freelancer while studying journalism and economics at Ithaca College, Vaughn has reported for a number of outlets including the Albany Times Union, New York Post, and NPR among others. Prior to coming to WSKG full-time, Vaughn was a reporter for the Watertown Daily Times. Vaughn now covers government and politics for WSKG.