Berthoud hires new code enforcement officer for minor violation complaints
By Katie Harris
From barking dogs to weedy lawns, Berthoud’s new code enforcement officer, Matt Arrants, is the man for the job. Hired in February for the brand-new position, Arrants is available Monday through Friday to answer resident’s calls, solve neighbor disputes, and deal with code-related concerns.
“The position came about when the town contracted with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office,” said Town Clerk Alisa Darrow. “As the town continues to grow the sheriff’s department needs to focus on what its job really is. Being called out for parking enforcement, weed control issues, and barking dogs really isn’t what the sheriff needs to be focusing on.”
According to Darrow, after years of requests from the sheriff to bring in a code enforcement officer, the Town of Berthoud approved the full-time position in the budget last year. Darrow and the sheriff’s department teamed up to hire Arrants, a criminal-justice major fresh out of the University of Northern Colorado.
“We were really interested in [Arrants] because he’s young and still in learning mode,” said Darrow. “He has a calm and steady demeanor, which made it worthwhile for us to train him for the position.”
Darrow said just a couple months into the job Arrants has already proven his worth, exhibiting meticulous attention to detail and follow-through.
“Within a month, he was logging everything around town that needed to be addressed, and we very quickly increased his hours from 30 a week to the budgeted amount of 40,” she said. “We realized that we’d had parks and recreation, the sheriff and community development all trying to handle these code issues that could now be attended to by one designated person.”
According to Arrants, who calls himself a jack of all trades, his primary goal is to make sure Berthoud looks appealing to people considering moving to town, and to ensure residents who’ve lived in the area for years continue to love it.
Arrants reports to Larimer County Sheriff’s Office but frequently works with other local departments, such as community development, to solve the wide variety of issues he comes across.
“I have a desk phone that is always open for people to contact me and leave a message with their complaint or question,” said Arrants, who typically returns calls between noon and 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“If I can take care of an issue on my own I’ll address it as soon as possible,” he said. “If it’s something I’m not sure on, or need an extra opinion on, I’ll talk to the correct person to move forward.”
Of the 116 issues he’s dealt with since taking the job, Arrants said a large number of them involve illegally parked trailers and recreational vehicles. Another common issue stems from the misconception that dogs in Berthoud are required to be leashed, which Arrants said is untrue.
“People are often concerned when they’ve seen a dog off a leash, but dogs in Berthoud are only required to be under voice control, meaning the owner must be able to call the dog back and receive an immediate response if it wanders away,” he said. “It’s smart to take precautions when this situation arises, however being off a leash doesn’t necessarily mean the dog is loose or that the owner’s in violation.”
Arrants said when an issue arises he always attempts to first make contact in person, leaving a written warning if unable to reach the party in violation.
“If I leave someone a written warning my hope is they’ll call me to discuss the situation,” said Arrants. “I try to be proactive and spend most of my time patrolling the area, catching scenarios and dealing with them before they become a bigger issue or a neighbor complains.”
Darrow said she’s seen firsthand the excellent customer-service skills Arrants brings to the table.
“I once heard him call a person back to thank them after they fixed a code violation he had contacted them about,” she said. “He really goes out of his way to do things that I’ve never heard of another code enforcement officer doing.”
“My goal is not to be the guy that makes people think ‘Oh crap,’” said Arrants. “I want to be a resource for people and establish a rapport with the community so they see me as a go-to, and not as someone to be afraid of.”
Code Enforcement Officer Matt Arrants can be reached at 970-344-5825 or at [email protected]
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