Moss Point starts year with ordinance crackdown

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Moss Point citizens could soon see more strict enforcement of city ordinances in 2010.  Mayor Aneice Liddell promises to crack down on several city laws this year, including property maintenance rules.

Every time Phyllis Matthews walks out the door of her Moss Point home, she sees a dilapidated, vacant house beside hers. The property's overgrown weeds, partially collapsed roof and junky garage draw a sharp contrast to Matthews' home, which appears well-manicured and maintained.  She said the neighboring property has been on the decline for years and nothing has been done to fix it.

"It looks bad, number one," Matthews explained.  "It's awful and it brings down the property values."

She said despite city-wide property maintenance ordinances, buildings like the one beside her home lie throughout the city.  She fears some of them could hide drug and other criminal activity, and she wants them gone.

"They go in there and they use it to do whatever," Matthews said.

She said she's been hoping the property would be cleaned for more than seven years.

"What makes me mad is we have laws in place and they're not enforced consistently," Matthews said.

Mayor Liddell wants city ordinances to pack a bigger punch in the Moss Point, and the property maintenance ordinance takes top priority.

"We have a lot of blighted areas in our city and we want people to start cleaning up vacant properties and tearing down old condemned buildings," Liddell said.  "And that's a must for us to improve the city and the overall look of the city."

A close second on the list is a noise ordinance.

"We're serious about these people riding around, especially at night," Liddell said.  "The noise is disturbing, especially to people while they're resting, sleeping.  They're going to have to turn it down.  We're going to push for enforcement of the boom boxes."

Over the next month, Liddell plans to hold public workshops to inform citizens of the laws that govern their city so they'll be prepared when Moss Point cracks down.

"Everyone needs to know what the law says and then we need to start enforcing it so we can all be on one accord," Liddell said.  "I think this administration is saying that we want to make a difference, we want to make a change and how do we make a change?  We're going to have to start enforcing our ordinances.  Everyday things that we can do."

Liddell said she wants to see the city's ordinances compiled into an online database that would be open to the public.

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