With a staff of three, the Code Compliance Department for the city keeps busy.
The department’s responsibilities become a bit more challenging when one staff member is out on medical leave.
That means one staff member must remain in the office, while the second patrols the streets for violations.
George Sinner is in charge of Code Compliance, which used to be known as Code Enforcement.
The department falls under the Copperas Cove Police Department.
Despite the small staff, the department strives to be proactive, locating problem properties among the approximately 13,000 residences in the city before receiving complaint calls.
Whether the violation is trash or tall grass — the most common problems — Sinner described the process as giving the homeowner and resident notice and an opportunity to rectify the matter. If that doesn’t happen, a citation can be given.
“A citation can get real expensive,” Sinner said. The department tries to be flexible, though. Whether the homeowner or the resident, “As long as they’ll work with us, we’ll work with them.”
If Code Compliance is compelled to handle the situation, the work is contracted out and the homeowner billed for the labor.
While Sinner acknowledged, “We’re not as busy as some bigger towns,” Code Compliance handles a lot of referrals for issues like animal complaints or or parking violations.
Code Compliance also provides food handler and food manager classes for the city, Sinner said.
Restaurant inspections fall under that umbrella, which includes food trucks at area events.
All food trucks must be inspected at events like the upcoming Rabbit Fest, Sinner said. Food truck vendors can apply for a $35 temporary permit or a $75 annual permit. The latter still requires inspection twice a year.
Vendors at the Farmers Market at City Park also may need inspection, if they are selling “yard eggs,” according to Sinner.
The biggest challenge for Sinner and his small staff? “Time.”