Is there a street light out on your block? Is the grass at that vacant property across the street ridiculously tall? Or maybe the bricks falling off the building next door were the last draw. Never fear, there is an easy way to tackle the problem: Report it to the Citizens’ Service Bureau (CSB). Any code violation in the City of St. Louis is usually best remedied by contacting them for an inspection or maintenance request. They will then forward the issue to the appropriate City Division if the issue needs additional attention.
I have used this service many times, to report all kinds of things in areas of South St. Louis where I frequent. My favorite example is the time when I noticed that the street light in front of my office on Gravois was out and that the long-existing crack in light poll itself was spreading. I reported the issue to the CSB via their website that nigh and two days later a street crew pulled up and got to work. Not only did they fix the bulb, they actually tore out the entire poll and replaced it. Only 48 hours after reporting the issue, it was fixed.
Of course, not everything is taken care of so quickly, but it is a great first step to tackle problems. If you are having a major problem, it might also help to encourage some of your neighbors to report the issue in question as well. The squeaky wheel does get the grease after all. Especially in these days of tight budgets, City government workers are stretched to the limit so there simply is not time for them to drive around policing neighborhoods for code violations. As a proactive resident or landlord, you are the first line of defense (or offense) in creating quality neighborhoods. I have heard a lot of people complain through the years about municipalities not fixing things quickly enough. And while I am sure there are times when there is truth to that claim, the reality is that oftentimes the issue is they simply did not know there was a problem. We as citizens have to do our part as well by making sure we point out these issues.
To contact the CSB call them at 314-622-4800, send a Twitter note @stlcsb, or report the issue electronically through the Citizen’s Service Bureau website. It just takes a few minutes and its well worth your time.