Code Enforcement in Tioga County - A Report to the Tioga County Rural Economic Area Partnership
The Tioga County Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) engaged the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) to review and evaluate the provision of code enforcement services at the town and village level in Tioga County, and to identify opportunities to enforce codes more effectively and efficiently by sharing services. CGR conducted semi-structured interviews with the 12 code enforcement officers serving the County’s municipalities, as well as all 15 town supervisors and village mayors in the County; obtained and analyzed state data on code enforcement activity in each municipality; gathered and compared budget data and fee schedules across municipalities; and interviewed officials in eight New York State counties that currently have county-administered code enforcement. CGR’s review found substantial turnover, as well as difficulty recruiting and retaining qualified code enforcement officers in many communities. We also identified fragmented levels of enforcement, permitting processes and fees across communities. CGR identified a number of options to improve code enforcement through arrangements between the County and its municipalities, ranging from the County providing support and coordination to the existing municipal enforcement system to having the County absorb enforcement of the Uniform Code from municipalities. As of July 2020, the County was moving forward with CGR’s recommendations to help municipalities assess and standardize fees County-wide.