The Code Enforcement Division is located in the Community Development Department at City Hall. This division consists of one full time Code Enforcement Officer and one part time Code Inspector. They are responsible for following up on resident complaints, nuisances, and violations of City Codes (including Property Maintenance Code, Zoning Code, Sign Code, and any other applicable sections of the City’s Municipal Code). The Division also operates an anonymous hotline that residents can use to leave recorded complaints.
Code Enforcement Officer: Sheri Verstraete, 618.346.5200 ext. 1158, or
Code Inspector: George Kroder, 618.346.5200 etc. 1148, or
Code Enforcement Hotline (Anonymous): 618.346.5200, option 4
The primary goal of the Code Enforcement Division is compliance. The majority of letters sent out by the division are simply warning letters, notifying the appropriate party that a violation exists and providing them enough time to remedy the situation without further penalty. In most cases, the violation is addressed and the case is closed. However, if the violation is not addressed and the violator does not contact Code Enforcement to discuss, then they will be expected to appear in court.
The City of Collinsville operates our own “City Court” which is presided over by a Hearing Officer. Although the Hearing Officer is not a Judge, the decisions made are still binding. Most court cases are brought before the Hearing Officer in City Court, which is held every other Thursday at 4 pm in the Courtroom at City Hall. More serious violations, or those that are repeat violators, will be cited in County Court, which is presided over by a Madison County Judge. The Madison County Court System leases space at Collinsville City Hall, so County Court is also located here, on Tuesdays at 9 am and 1 pm.
Questions Related to Court Appearances: Sheri Verstraete, Code Enforcement Officer, 618.346.5200 ext. 1158, or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Code Enforcement Division manages several programs throughout the City, including the following:
Yard Maintenance Program: Several years ago when foreclosures became more common, many homes were ‘taken over” by out of state banks and mortgage companies that did nothing to maintain the property, and dozens of homes within our community were left to deteriorate. With no weekly maintenance, complaints about yard maintenance began to pour in. In response, the City created a Yard Maintenance Program. Our department maintains a list of homes with yard maintenance issues, which are regularly cut and maintained by the Street Department. A sign is placed in the yard so the neighbors know the City has taken over yard maintenance, and the costs of the maintenance are charged to the owner of the property, with liens against the home eventually being filed for unpaid costs. The owner is also cited and must appear in court and pay the fines associated with failure to maintain the property.
Questions Related to the Yard Maintenance Program:
Amy Boeving - Building Assistant
email@example.com -- 618-346-5200 x1126
Demolition Program: As described above, when homes are left to deteriorate and are not maintained, they can become not only eyesores and detrimental to home values and quality of life in the neighborhood, but can become dangerous & unsafe as well. Our department maintains a list of deteriorating homes on the verge of, or already, officially condemned, and pursues legal action to foreclose on the home, take over ownership, demolish the home, and then sell the property for the use of the neighborhood or construction of a new home, etc. Many of these homes have been “purchased” sight unseen through County Tax Sales, and are never actually claimed by the purchaser. Once the house is viewed to be not worth the time and money, the purchaser can let it sit for several years before giving up the “ownership”. Others are foreclosed on and virtually unwanted by the bank or mortgage company and some are even owned by deceased individuals with no family, leaving them stuck in the legal system with no real ownership.
Questions Related to the Demolition Program:
Amy Boeving - Building Assistant
firstname.lastname@example.org -- 618-346-5200 x1126
Interior Inspections Program: The City of Collinsville has adopted the 2009 International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC), which basically provides for a safe home environment for Collinsville residents, free from dangerous living conditions or malfunctioning appliances, etc. If a Collinsville resident feels that a dangerous or unsafe condition exists within his/her rental unit, the Code Inspector can be contacted to inspect the structure for compliance with the IMPC. The landlord will be contacted to make repairs or changes that are required in order to meet the code.
Questions Regarding the Interior Inspections Program: George Kroder, Code Inspector, 618.346.5200 ext. 1148, or email@example.com
Community Service Program: As a part of City and County Court, a violator can sometimes be given a penalty of community service instead of a fine. The administration of this community service is managed by our Code Enforcement Officer who works with not for profits, churches, schools, the food pantry, etc to find community service hours for those who are penalized through the court system.
Questions Regarding the Community Service Program: Sheri Verstraete, Code Enforcement Officer, 618.346.5200 ext. 1158, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Code Enforcement Questions
- 1. How can the City tell me that I have to cut my grass or paint my house; it’s my property, can’t I do whatever I want?
The City of Collinsville, like most other surrounding municipalities, has adopted the 2009 International Property Maintenance Code. This code provides minimum standards for maintaining property, to ensure the health, safety and quality of life for Collinsville residents. This code, and other applicable codes and ordinances, apply to everyone, whether they live in a crowded neighborhood or are the only house at the end of a dead end street. No one wants to live near a nuisance property or a home that is not maintained; all property owners are expected to maintain their property to these minimum standards.
- 2. I got a letter/ticket/citation from Code Enforcement what should I do?
Most of the letters are just to notify you that the City received a complaint or witnessed a violation that you are believed responsible for. If the violation has already been addressed, doesn’t exist, isn’t your responsibility, or if you don’t understand the violation, please call the Code Enforcement Officer whose name appears at the bottom of the letter. If it’s a simple problem that can be or has already been addressed, the CEO will make a note of it and close out the file. If there are larger violations that you have questions about, the CEO can help you. NEVER IGNORE A LETTER FROM CODE ENFORCEMENT. Even if the situation has been taken care of or is not actually your responsibility you must contact the CEO to have the case closed. A violation that has not been addressed can result in a required court appearance, and failing to appear can cause the problem to escalate. The majority of the issues we see can be easily remedied; if a large scale problem exists, Code Enforcement is happy to work with you until you can get the problem resolved.
- 3. I have been complaining about the same problem for months; why hasn’t it been taken care of?
As described in the above paragraphs, the first step in addressing a violation is sending a letter to the responsible party. The letter provides a certain amount of time to remedy the situation, or a court date is scheduled. If the violator does not show at the first court date, the case is continued, usually for 30 days. If the violator still does not show, a fine is usually imposed and notice is sent. This can go on for several months until, depending on the violation, additional legal measures are taken to address the problem. If the violator does make the court date, he/she has the opportunity to negotiate with the court, sometimes being granted additional time to address the problem. As you can imagine, the legal system can take time, and this may lead you to believe that the City is not addressing your complaint. Be assured that all complaints are addressed, and if you see a violation that has not been remedied, please call the Code Enforcement Officer for the status of the complaint.
- 4. What Are The Requirements For Yard Sale Signs?
Yard Sale Signs have specific requirements per the Yard Sale Section of the City’s Municipal Code and do not require a Sign Permit; when obtaining a Yard Sale Permit at the Front Counter at City Hall, you will be provided with the guidelines regarding Yard Sale Signs.
Contact: Finance Department, 618.346.5200 ext 1110 or 1114, or email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
- 5. Why am I getting a letter from Code Enforcement when all my neighbors are doing the same thing or worse?
A warning letter from Code Enforcement is usually based on a complaint received by the department, but can also be based on the CEO or another City Staff member viewing the violation and reporting it. The CEO will always verify the complaint to ensure the violation does exist, and while doing so will likely view other violations within the surrounding area. This means that if a neighbor complains about a junk car in your driveway, when the CEO comes out to verify, he/she will see other junk cars or violations within your neighborhood. ALL of those violations will be written up, just like the one that was reported in the first place. Please remember that every warning letter provides a certain amount of time for the violation to be remedied; some issues will be taken care of immediately and others could end up requiring court action.