Progress Being Made On Cleaning Up Coast Eyesores - - The News for South Mississippi

Progress Being Made On Cleaning Up Coast Eyesores

It's been a few months since Action Reporter Steve Phillips showed us some rundown properties on the Coast that needed some attention. Now several of those homes are a step closer to coming down. In fact, one of them is already coming down.

Code enforcement officials warned us when we first began looking at the problem of eyesores that the clean-up process demands patience. Court dates and city council hearings can drag on for months. But persistence pays off.

Heavy equipment easily tore apart the rundown house on School Street. A last-minute phone call by the property owner failed to halt the inevitable demolition. Code enforcement began working toward this end result many months ago.

"[It was] a house that we had taken to court and couldn't get any results through that method. So we took it before city council, and they ordered the demolition," Pascagoula Building Official Steve Mitchell said.

This particular property had many code violations. The deterioration reached the point where the house was declared a public safety concern.

"It was a fire hazard. The neighbors were complaining. Rats were running in and out of the house. High grass. High weeds. Just about every problem associated with a derelict structure that you could have," Mitchell said.

City public works crews did the demolition and clean-up work. The cost will be charged to the property owner.

In Gulfport, four rundown houses still stand at the corner of Jackson Street and Indiana Avenue. But demolition may also be the ultimate ending here. This week, the City Council agreed to advertise for bids.

"We should be receiving those bids sometime soon, and then after that,we have to bring it back to city council to award it to the contractor," Gulfport Building Official Ronald Jones said.

The owner still wants to renovate the houses. Jones says he'll consider it.

"It's possible that one or more of them could be salvaged. But we'll have to see," Jones said.

Finally, remember the burned out house near Gulfport High? Nothing happened for more than a year. Until now. A local contractor recently bought the property and plans to rebuild it.

"That project turned out good because the house was able to be salvaged. And it will certainly be a good asset to the city," Jones said.

The Gulfport City Council is expected to award a bid for demolition of those four houses on May 7th.

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