By: Sarah Snyder
ANDREWS - A new city initiative is forcing some pack rats in Andrews to clean up. Hundreds of dilapidated cars are piling up in neighborhoods, and the city is taking action. The shear number of cars in violation surprised the officers enforcing it.
"A lot of the registrations are out, a bunch of the vehicles have flats and some of them won't even start," Andrews Community Services Director Scott Wallace, said.
As workers piled in for the oil boom, so did the number of junk cars. Right now about 200 cars are in violation of the city policy missing tires, parts, or expired tags. The city is re-launching an ordinance hoping to keep these cars out of sight.
"We're just trying to make our community look a little better and trying to dress it up somewhat and make it safer for the community as well," Wallace said. "We want Andrews to be inviting for people."
It's become such a big concern that the city just hired a code compliance officer who's staying busy tagging unusable vehicles with an orange sticker, giving owners about 60 days to clean it up.
But the biggest benefit will be for the Fire Department.
"It's not everyday somebody is going to give you their car to tear up, so this will be an excellent opportunity for us," Andrews Fire Chief Joe Harper said.
Andrews firefighters will use the old clunkers to test their speed and tools on simulated fires.
"But the biggest reason we use them is for extracation," Chief Harper said. "It's easy to train in a classroom on extracation, but to have the hands on is really where it all comes together."
The Fire Chief hopes they'll get about 30 cars - enough for them to train firefighters all over the County.
"Try different ways, different techniques to see if it will make the recovery quicker or safer, and that's not something you want to practice on the scene," Chief Harper said.