Moss Point targets owners of dilapidated properties

By Patrice Clark- bio | email

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Larry Chambers is disgusted by the blighted property next door to his home at Dutch Bayou in Moss Point. He calls the property "unsightly" and "trouble."

"It is pretty bad. I think it needs to be torn down, because in the summertime it brings snakes, and rodents, and rats,"  Chambers said.

Just a few doors down, the wooden panels are falling off another house on the road, and weeds are growing all over the place.

Moss Point Building Inspector Paul Sistrunk said about 15 percent of the properties in the city are dilapidated. He said they are a bad reflection on Moss Point and pose a danger to community members.

"It is a tremendous problem in the city Moss Point. We have had houses that not only have been damaged by hurricanes, but just old homes," Sistrunk said. "Then the community brings it to our attention, the building department, then we act on it. We have to implement a plan to get this house either fixed up, or put back in its original state, or in a coded state."

Sistrunk admits that's not always easy. He said most of the time it's difficult to even locate the owners, let alone make them clean up.

"We have a new thing going now, the Abatement process. It will allow us, with board approval, to take action against this house, whether it is to tear it down, or remove it in some form.  We will forward the cost of the repairs, or the cost of removing it to their yearly taxes on their homes," Sistrunk said.

Moss Point is taking steps that leaders hope will lead to a cleaner community.

"It would be a cleaner, nicer place to live."

If you have a dilapidated property in your neighborhood, call Moss Point City Hall at (228) 475-0300.