Long Beach sending city workers to clean eyesore properties - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Long Beach sending city workers to clean eyesore properties

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) -

By Danielle Thomas – bio | email

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - For the first time ever, Long Beach is in the business of cleaning up neglected and overgrown lots. Long Beach leaders say city crews spent this week cutting grass and doing demolition work. Officials say owners will eventually be footing the cleaning bill.

Back in April WLOX showed an overgrown lot on Pitcher Point Avenue in Long Beach. Neighbors were upset about the overgrown grass and the abandoned pool. Now the grass is cut, the lot has been cleaned, and neighbors say they couldn't be more thrilled.

"It's wonderful that the pool is finally filled in after five years," said Zoran Whelan, "It's kind of ridiculous that it wasn't done beforehand."

Long Beach officials say not much has been done about neglected properties because of difficulty getting in touch with out-of-state owners. Now, the city is using a state law that allows local governments to step in when all efforts to contact owners fail.

Alderman Gary Ponthieux said, "We're cleaning them up. We're putting the fees for whatever time it takes, the material and the manpower. We're putting it on the taxes along with penalties."

All together, city crews cleaned five nuisance properties this week which included tearing down a house on Wisteria Lane that neighbors told WLOX was an eyesore.

"It's for the good of the city," said Ponthieux. "It's for the taxpayers of the city that are living here, and it's been five years. It's well enough time."

Whelan said, "I think it's sad that the city has to go through it, that the property owners won't step up to their responsibilities. The slabs are still here. It's still an eyesore for everybody to look around. We're always going to know what happened, but we don't have to look these slabs. "

Alderman Gary Ponthieux said if the lots need more upkeep in the future, state law allows the city to go in up to six times a year without having to try to contact the owners again. He said those costs would also be added to the tax bill.

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