Help is on the way for a St. Martin homeowner - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Help is on the way for a St. Martin homeowner

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Dan Russell is worried that an overgrown, waterlogged piece of property that sits next to his back yard is a health hazard. Dan Russell is worried that an overgrown, waterlogged piece of property that sits next to his back yard is a health hazard.
ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) -

Dan Russell used to enjoy his back yard. Not anymore. Lawn chairs sit empty and the grill hasn't been fired up in months. There is the reason why. Dan calls it an overgrown eyesore that's become a hazard as well. 

"One of our neighbors over on Deena Drive has West Nile Virus. As you can see, this stays wet all the time," Russell said.

It's not just the mosquitoes and the fear of West Nile Virus that has Russell concerned. There are other things that lurk on this property as well.  

"Mice, snakes, and other critters coming in here," Russell explained. "In the 35 years I've lived here, we never had a snake in the yard. This year we've had six." 

Russell said he's become a prisoner inside his own home. 

"As soon as you come outside, you get infested by mosquitoes. I don't even let my grandkids come outside anymore because of West Nile Virus," Russell said. 

I contacted Jackson County officials. Within an hour, crews showed up to assess the situation, and then take action. Shorty Cates is the assistant road superintendent for the county.  

"Well, we're going to bring some sand back in here and push this water out of here and dry it up for them," Cates said.  

What about the field itself? 

"We're going to get some of it cut.  We're going to try and get it fixed up for them," Cates added. 

Troy Ross is the county supervisor for this area. Quick action was needed for one reason.  

"We actually learned about the problem today, close to the time you went out there today," Ross said.  "Because of the health hazard and the occurrence of West Nile in that area and the mosquito problems we've had, we felt it was something we had no choice but to act on as quickly as possible." 

Currently, the property belongs to the county school district.  Superintendent Barry Amacker told us there was miscommunication between the district and the county over maintenance of the property. That's because the county wants to eventually acquire it, and build a soccer complex there.  Amacker also said any confusion about maintenance will be cleared up immediately.

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