Meridian, Miss. The city of Meridian is continuing its effort to address the issue of unkept property. A public hearing on the matter is set for next month. According to the Community Development Director for the City of Meridian, John McClure, many of the pieces of property that are creating the most concern have overgrown grass, extensive litter or numerous junk vehicles.
"Ideally, we don't want to have to do any of this," says McClure. "What we want to have happen is if the property owner, if it's a matter of unkept properties, that they come in and clean it; make it attractive so it's not a nuisance or hazard to the neighbors."
However, all too often that doesn't happen, and McClure says after attempting to contact or contacting the owner on several occasions about the problem, the property is ultimately presented to the city council for consideration.
As of this day, eight pieces of property are set to be presented to the city council for consideration in November. McClure says perhaps one of those sites will be removed from the list because allegedly it was recently cleaned.
"This is something that's important. We have budgeted to demolish well over 100; I think the number is higher than that. It could be as many as 200 that we are going to attempt to get taken care of, and that is an even more complex process to tear down a house than it is to cut the grass." says McClure.
According to McClure, the Inspection Division has more employees than any other division within the Community Development Department. He says that demonstrates how serious city officials are about addressing this problem.
In regards to the upcoming public hearing, if the city council calls for city officials to clean the pieces of property that will be discussed, the cost for that will be passed on to the property owners through taxes.
That public hearing will be held November 5th at 9:15 AM. It will take place on the third floor of city hall inside council chambers.