Jackson County homeowners want post Katrina slabs removed

Jackson County resident Jim Turner always likes his yard and home in St. Andrews to look neat and clean. But he can't say the same about a lot of property owners around here.

"I have this slab right in front of our house and it is covered with debris," Turner said.

On April 4th, there are still 34 foundations and lots just in St. Andrews that were left from Katrina's destruction nearly six years ago and more than 100 county-wide.

Neighbors Alan Doyle and Larry Smith said they think the slabs are unsightly and unsafe.

"I am very frustrated that they are still because I feel they are nuisance. They are an eyesore," Doyle said.

"Rats and everything else coming and with all the broken stuff around you have to watch your grandchildren," Smith said.

St. Andrews Homeowners Association President Robert Spivacke said he and neighbors have begged county leaders to help get these slabs cleaned up and removed.

"I have been told by Jackson County people that if it is not a safety hazard or health hazard, there is nothing they can do." Spivacke said. "The fact is there are snakes and rats in these areas over here that are coming to homes across the street."

Spivacke said letters also went out to homeowners asking that they cleanup. Now he said it is up County leaders to do something soon.

"We have done everything we can, so Jackson County has to take the ball and run with it."

County Supervisor John McKay said he has a couple of possible solutions.

"I am going to bring it our Board of Supervisors and find out if there is way if we can have an ordinance, or have these property owners taken to court to have these things cleaned up."

McKay said the county also has to enforce the laws on the books more aggressively so this problem won't linger on for another six years.

"If you are property is unsafe or unsanitary we have to make you clean it up, that is the ordnance on the book," McKay said." "So, I think we can find a way that we can start the legal process and it is not an overnight process. But within six months we can have a these slabs cleaned and out of here."

McKay said he plans to discuss solutions for the slab problem at the Board of Supervisors meeting in two weeks.

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