Waveland is aggressively addressing blight

Waveland is aggressively addressing blight
Getting rid of any leftover concrete slabs and structures is just one problem. Another is figuring out what to do with all the extra concrete once it's broken down. (Photo source: WLOX)

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - The city of Waveland is continuing to make its comeback after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Part of that process is cleaning up concrete slabs and structures that still haven't been demolished.

Cleanup crews led by "Keep Waveland Beautiful's" Don Siebenkittel scan the roadways in Waveland, keeping their eyes peeled for ways to beautify the area.

"We go from road to road and go all down it and just pick up every bit of trash we can find," one crew member said.

It's a part of Siebenkittel's plan to continue the difficult task of clearing Waveland of blight leftover from one of the worst storms in history.

"We have slabs that are still standing and our city ordinance states that you either have to maintain the property, which means keep the grass cut and groomed, if it has a slab or a structure still on it," Siebenkittel said.

Getting rid of any leftover concrete slabs and structures is just one problem. Another is figuring out what to do with all the extra concrete once it's broken down. Siebenkittel is working with the Department of Marine Resources, to put the slab remnants in fish reefs. Believe it or not, it costs up to $5,000 to break down a slab.

"We actually take and add the cost of the cleanup to the person's taxes, so that's about the only way we get a pay back on it," Siebenkittel said.

Siebenkittel said he has a database of hundreds of properties, and he's writing letters to the owners letting them know that if they don't clean it up, they're breaking state laws.

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