Posted: Feb 5, 2013 4:27 PM by Andrew Ellison - firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Feb 5, 2013 5:47 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - We continue our special report, looking at how some of your tax dollars are spent here in the Coastal Bend.
Tonight, we're highlighting city funds, showing you what some of the city's biggest expenses are.
In the month of December, the city spent 2.4 million on retirement for employees, over 1 million on insurance for employees, and another $259,000 to Humana to manage that insurance system.
But one of the most interesting figures was nearly $20,000 coming from city Code Enforcement.
The money is used to pay businesses that help the department clean properties that have violated city ordinances, and the job isn't easy.
These code enforcement officers and contractors have to go into some pretty ugly situations, like venturing into tall, un-kept grass, or heading into an abandoned building.
"You don't know who's in there. Transients... animals...," Code Enforcement Supervisor Andy Montes says.
So the department works with at least six local landscaping companies to clean these properties up.
Code Enforcement gives each company 10 contracts at a time, and those companies have five days to complete those 10 contracts.
Montes says once the city foots the bill to clean these properties, they go after the property owner to reimburse them.
The department has ways of getting that money, like putting a lien on the property, but often times, retrieving that money is easier said than done.
"Some of these owners are out of state. And some are as far as Canada, Hawaii, New Zealand, Germany, you know, by the time they get the letter, it's been a while," Montes says.
In fact, Montes says the odds of getting that money about 50/50.
"I like to be skeptical and say that we do get a lot of money, but realistically, we probably don't," he says.
Montes added that Code Enforcement double checks the job that each contractor does, making sure that the properties are completely in compliance with city ordinances.
Do you have a tip, information about a breaking news story, or a story idea for 6 Investigates? Contact the KRIS 6 News Desk at 361-884-6666 or send us an email.
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