Fire marshal seeks contact info for POAs
Posted by : November 21, 2013| On :
The Monitor Correspondent
ATHENS–Henderson County Fire Marshal Shane Renberg notes there are 266 subdivisions in the county, however he only has contact information for 35 of them.
That’s a problem the Fire Marshal’s Office is trying to fix.
“If we could reach the homeowners or/and property owners associations, we could get vital information out to them. They in turn could get that information to the property owners. We just can’t reach everyone,” Renberg said.
He and his staff are soliciting POAs and HOAs to contact his office with at least one contact name, email address and phone number. “We get called to check properties for violations, when half the time the issue is in violation of a POA rule,” he said.
Renberg wants to inform property owners about the complaints and questions that should be pointed to their POA and what kinds of things to call his office about. The Fire Marshal’s Office deals with burn bans, burning and dumping rules, nuisance properties and county policies on property maintenance, he said.
Fire Marshal Office administrator Ali Hansen is doing the computer work of mapping the subdivisions and trying to set up contact information for the office. “I get calls all day with questions. I could put a list together of the most-asked questions and get it to the POAs to circulate to all the homeowners,” she said.
Some of these questions relate to state law. “Many residents don’t know it’s illegal to burn after dark,” Hansen said.
“I have a staff of three and a big county to cover. I prefer that a property owner contact his POA first before calling this office,” Renberg said. “I want this office to be involved and build relationships with the community, cleaning up illegal dumping areas, citing violators and I want to make this a two-way street. We want POAs to know they can contact us with questions or situations. All of us could do better communicating with one another.”
A situation that has arisen in the past and is likely to arise in the future involves an elderly or disabled homeowner who might need help, either with a clean-up project or coming into compliance with HOA or code violations, he said. “Some POAs put together a helping hands program, where the neighborhood gets together to help do a yard cleanup or trash removal,” Renberg said. “It helps everyone in the neighborhood to get a property cleaned up and helps improve property values and is better than my office issuing citations when a disabled vet or senior citizen may not be able to fix the problems.”
To provide contact information, call Ali Hansen at (903) 675-6157, or email Hansen at ahansen@ co.henderson.tx.us.