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Tuesday, December 17, 2013 - By Julie Ramaccia - No comments
Hartsville, SC is a charming city of nearly 8,000 residents. They are also a leader in government communication and responsiveness to citizen concerns. Hartsville began using SeeClickFix in 2012 and they continuously give exemplary attention to every citizen request.
The most commonly reported issues include pothole and sidewalk problems, trash and debris removal, overgrown lots and tree-related issues. Both residents and city employees welcome beautification projects, adding to the overall livability of the city, including a new swing set and flower beds in Lawton Park.
Hartsville resolves most requests within one week. To date, a remarkable 94 percent of all requests have been addressed. There are, however, certain issues that require multiple steps before resolution. Natalie Zeigler, Hartsville City Manager, describes the process for dealing with overgrown lot concerns:
“Overgrown lots were a major concern this summer, and rightfully so. There are some properties in the city which, for several reasons, don’t have owners present and don’t have anyone on hand to maintain the grounds. For those living near these properties or seeing them every day, they can be a real source of frustration, which is why we hear about them on SeeClickFix. Unfortunately, the frustration doesn’t stop there, because resolving these problems is often not an easy task. First, our Code Enforcement Officer must locate the property owner. Time-consuming title searches and situations with numerous heirs owning a property are common. After that, the owners receive letters explaining the code violations and asking for the issues to be addressed in a given amount time to avoid penalties. We would be thrilled, of course, if every code violation could be handled immediately, but this is an area which does require patience.”
We are impressed with the high level of citizen and city engagement and accountability in Hartsville, and look forward to witnessing the continued improvement of the city!
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