Moss Point deals with dilapidated property dilemma

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Dilapidated properties in Moss Point have the attention of city leaders, but they concede ending the problem won't be easy. It's been four years since Hurricane Katrina hit, and leaders say there are still too many places rundown or in ruins.

"It is a nuisance, it is an eyesore, and it makes the whole city look bad," Paul Sistrunk said.

Sistrunk is frustrated when he sees miles and miles of blight in Moss Point.  As the city building official, he's identified more than 100 dilapidated properties around town.  Wednesday, he posted more condemned signs.

"The City of Moss Point is not going to tolerate these dilapidated buildings, structures."

Sistrunk understands some property owners are experiencing financial hardship due to the economy. But he said owners who neglect their properties are hurting the whole community.

"Finances is one problem, I am sure you know. Maybe they just don't want to move back into the neighborhood. Maybe they're in a floodplain and they are tired of getting flooded out."

Sistrunk said since Hurricane Katrina, it's been difficult getting owners to maintain their properties, especially those now living out of state.

"We have to run these people down."

Moss Point Mayor Aneice Liddel said the city doesn't have enough code enforcement people on the job.

"Right now, it is a two man operation," Liddel said. "We did, over a period of time, have some grant monies from FEMA and MEMA that let us hire some additional people, but most of that funding has run out."

The mayor said she will work to get the money to hire additional code enforcers, so they can help rid the city of this blight.

"I know this means a lot to people because they are living right there next to it."

Property owners can be fined for their neglected properties. If you see dilapidated properties in your neighborhood call Moss Point City Hall at (228) 475-0300.

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