JACOB BOWLING, Special to the REGISTER
In recent weeks, residents of Roland and Muldrow have noticed a growing issue that is not only unsightly but also a potential fire threat: overgrown ditches. Local ordinances stipulate that grass and weeds must be maintained at a height no longer than 12 inches.
It is essential to keep gutters free of debris to prevent blockages that can lead to flooding and property damage. These regulations are not just about aesthetics; they play a crucial role in preserving the overall well-being of the community.
“A common misunderstanding is the term ‘easement’ and the responsibilities that both property owners and the city have regarding them,” Roland Code Enforcement officer Mark Fisher said.
The state of Oklahoma defines easement as a non-possessory right for another party (utility company, town, or the state) to use a portion of your land for a specific purpose.
For example, an en-tity may need to access your property (often the ditch or the area along the road) to fix utility cables, water lines, or even repair the road. This piece of land does not belong to the entity but is owned by the property owner.
It is the requirement that the property owner maintain the easement as it is their property.
“The town of Roland is not singling out any property owner, as they ensure that town ordinances are being followed,” Fisher said. “Roland is growing, and we want to attract businesses here… having a clean aesthetic can make a big difference.”
Town of Muldrow officials echoed these thoughts, saying, “We are one of the first towns people see when entering Oklahoma from the west, and we want to make a good impression.”
Code enforcement officers are urging homeowners and property managers to take action to clean up these areas, as failure to do so can result in code violations or even fines.
Code enforcement often patrol neighborhoods to ensure compliance with local ordinances, much in the same way that law enforcement patrols neighborhoods to ensure the safety of the community.
They are certified by the state of Oklahoma and operate under Oklahoma state statute §11-14-101.
Both towns encourage the community to contact them if they have any questions about municipal ordinances or easements.
Roland residents can call 918-427-6829 and Muldrow can be reached at 918-4273226. Residents can also call to report violations anonymously.