Meridian Man Hoping for Abandoned Property Resolution

Meridian, Miss. "This is the view that I get every morning. This is the view that I get every afternoon when I come home from work. This is where the shots came from that fired into those windows across the street," Mike Pompelia pointed out.

Mike Pompelia has complained about the abandoned home across for his home for five years, but shots fired into his home from the property were the last straw. He says the City Planning Department told him they would start work Friday on clearing the yard, but as Friday and then Saturday came and went, no one showed.

"I was assured that this property would be cleaned up no later than Monday morning, and as you can see, there's no activity over there now. I daresay they're going to have a hard time getting it cleaned up by Monday morning," Pompelia said.

The Meridian Police Department originally declared the case as "vandalism." But it has since been changed to "shooting into an occupied dwelling." Pompelia says he was told he could request further investigation if he wanted it.

"I certainly don't think I should have to call for an investigation. I can think of several city department heads that if their home had been shot into, they wouldn't have had to call for an investigation," he said.

Ward 5 Councilman Randy Hammon says this is the first time in 20 years the city has set aside money in the budget to go toward abandoned houses like this. So progress right now is slow but crucial to the city.

"If anybody will look up vacant properties, the true cost to communities, they'll see how much it reduces crime, how much it reduces fires, how much it reduces the debt to the city," Hammon explained. "Every city that has practiced this, and invested in this, over 15 to 20 years has made $1.50 for every $1 invested."

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