Pascagoula code enforcement demands cleaner neighborhoods - - The News for South Mississippi

Pascagoula code enforcement demands cleaner neighborhoods


By Patrice Clark – bio | email

PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) – Pascagoula's Code Enforcement Office is demanding that property owners clean up their land. Those who don't could face hefty fines.

The city recently sent more than 20 letters to people in the Chipley community, which is one of the areas heavily damaged in Katrina. Several neighbors want the city to chip in and clean up the community.

Pascagoula Councilman Frank Corder said Hurricane Katrina damaged or destroyed about 300 homes in the area, and many of the properties don't look much different than they did in 2005. Corder said they're more than just eyesores, they're safety hazards.

"Some have high weeds, some have slabs they're setting on, and some have old buildings that need to be torn down," Corder said.

One round of code enforcement letters went out to property owners in 2008, but Corder said many of those warnings were ignored. Now, the city is sending mandatory compliance letters, telling property owners to clean up or pay up.

"We will evaluate whether they have a plan of action to remedy the problem. If they don't, we will take steps to clean it up for them and goes on their tax bill."

Tom Carpenter got a cleanup letter in the mail for his lot on 13th Street.

"I have been trying to improve this lot," Carpenter said. "I had the slab torn up and hauled off."

Carpenter feels the letters are unnecessary.

"I don't know if they should waste money on certified mail because most people are honest and want to do the thing right thing."

Neighbor Martha Staggs also received one of the letters. She said the city needs to look at its own property.

"All over town they should clean everything, and they should clean their own property before they jump up on our cases," Staggs said.

Corder said the city is doing its part to improve the Chipley area by committing $3.2 million toward water, sewer and street improvements.

"We are trying to give the people who have invested in this new revitalized area of town hope to continue rebuilding," Corder said.

Corder said to ensure more houses go up, code enforcement will have to stay committed to making sure Pascagoula property owners cleanup.

The city is holding a hearing Tuesday night for about 24 property owners in the Chipley Community. Corder said owners will have show they're taking steps to clean off their land.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly