Eyesore Property Belongs To City

The roof is gone, walls are knocked down and windows are missing.

Neighbors near Popps Ferry Road and Rustwood Drive are calling it an eyesore and a safety hazard. They want the city to demolish a partially torn down house.

But it turns out, the house in question is owned by the city of Biloxi .

Biloxi bought the property late last year for the planned widening of Popps Ferry Road. Early this year, the former owner tore down part of the house to salvage construction materials.

Only a shell of a house remains on the corner lot that's littered with bricks, boards and various construction materials.

Rustwood Drive resident Stephen Reck labels it an eyesore and a liability.

"You know, there are young kids out here. And they're up near the convenience store so they walk back and forth. So, they're bound to come through the property and just pick through it and may end up getting injured," Reck said.

The City of Biloxi planned to award a bid soon to demolish the vacant house. But the tearing down has already begun.

"In this particular instance, an individual has gone onto the property, removed things from the property and began demolishing the house. That's how it got in the status it is today," Biloxi public affairs manager Vincent Creel said.

The former owner of the house preferred not to go on camera, but told us he too would like to see the house demolished. Mark Wood says that's now the city's responsibility. He also told us he tore off the roof, with the city's permission, to salvage the lumber.

Wood says others have also helped themselves to construction materials and other pieces of the house. The city says no one, including Wood, was given approval to demolish or salvage.

"We've checked with all departments. We can find no approval for any demolition or anything on this property by this individual," Creel said.

Neighbors can expect some action from the city.

Mayor A.J. Holloway will ask the Public Works department to clear the property.