Inspectors Search for Violations

Dexter Barge, director of the Hillsborough County Code Enforcement Department
TAMPA (2009-11-30) -

Hillsborough County code inspectors were out in force scanning the property where a 2-year-old’s body was found. The toddler is believed to have fallen into an uncovered septic tank at a mobile home park this weekend.

A team of seven code inspectors walked through the Silver Lane Mobile Home Park searching for hazardous violations according to the Hillsborough County Code Enforcement Department Director Dexter Barge.

“To make sure there were no other septic tanks that were not properly covered,” said Barge. “We looked for exposed electrical wires, anything that could be a safety hazard to a child.”

Barge said several minor violations were uncovered including a improperly covered second septic tank, but none were life-threatening. He said typically mobile home parks are not inspected unless there are complaints.

“We’re complaint driven,” Barge said. “We don’t have enough inspectors that we can be proactive throughout the county inspecting all these mobile home parks.”

Barge estimated there are hundreds of mobile home parks in unincorporated Hillsborough. He said the county is too massive and his staff of 34 inspectors and supervisors is not adequate to cover that.

The mobile home park’s owner was given 24 hours to start repairs such as replacing a thin metal covering over the second septic tank on the property.

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