Condemned eyesore finally set for cleanup

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - It's one of the most visible parts of Gautier from Highway 57, and it's an eyesore.

"People coming off the interstate toward Ocean Springs or Gautier, this is one of the first things they see," said Gautier Mayor Pete Pope.

The run-down trailer park at the corner of Highway 57, between Highway 90 and I-10, is not pretty. Dilapidated and vacant trailers cover the overgrown property.

"When you come down [highway] 57, if you have any idea that that's the City of Gautier would you move there?" asked Anita Carroll who lives nearby.  "I wouldn't."

Neighbors have been complaining to the city about the condemned property for a long time.

"I think it should be bulldozed," said Brian Parton who lives on Brown Road.  "I'm sure there's hazardous waste up there."

"If my husband and I were to put this property up for sale, I don't think it would sell," Carroll said of her own house.  "Because of the entrance to come back here. No one wants to pass an eyesore like that on a main thoroughfare."

The city says right now, their hands are tied.  The massive cleanup is up to the property owners.

"I do know that the city has been very patient with these people, and they've tried to get them to clean it up on their own," Pope said.

If you take a good look around the property what you'll see is that the problem is a lot bigger than just the trailers. Debris covers the ground, from trash cans to beads to couches. No one is even cleaning up those signs of life that have been left here, much less the condemned trailers.

Now, the city says time is running out for the property owners to take care of it on their own.

"It is my understanding that in the next couple of [city council] meetings that it be brought before the council for an abatement process," Pope said. "If they don't clean it up, the city will clean it up, and we'll go ahead and put it on their taxes."

Then the neighbors could finally get what they've been asking for for years.

"It needs to go away," said Brian Parton.  "And not soon enough."

Property owners were not immediately available for comment on cleanup attempts.