City begins process of cleaning up fourth block of Main Street

By JAMIE PATTERSON,

Perhaps it was the abandoned building that recently collapsed into one of Yazoo City’s most traveled roads.

Or maybe it was the skeleton of a historic building that toppled over a year ago. Quite possibly it could have been newspaper coverage that labeled the area as “a third world country.”

Whatever the reason, city officials finally began the legal process of addressing the final block of Main Street this week.

The long-vacant and dilapidated properties on the fourth and final block of Main Street have been an eyesore, safety hazard and poor reflection on the community for several years. The skeleton remains of what was once flourishing businesses continues to rot away amidst prosperity just blocks away.

The Henick building collapsed in May of 2018, and its crumbling structure remains untouched. Just recently, another building toppled with bricks splattered all over Main Street.

Russ Carter, city building inspector, told The Herald in a previous interview that the lengthy process to either clean up or demolish the abandoned buildings has been difficult to implement. He added that property owners often change abruptly, forcing the process to begin all over again. He also said the first two parcels on the left side of the block have completely gone through the process, adding that the city simply hasn’t torn them down yet.

However, the official process began this week during the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting when hearings for six properties were set to “determine if certain parcels are in a state of uncleanliness constituting a menace to public health, safety and welfare.” This resolution is the first step in the lengthy process.

The six properties and owners include:

414 S. Main Street; Easthaven Tax Buyers of Brandon

418 S. Main Street; Devin Nalls of Bentonia

431 S. Main Street (two parcels); Dale Martin and Jade James of Los Angeles, Calif.

416 S. Main Street; Juanita Quinn of Hattiesburg

428 S. Main Street; Lyle Tate of Madison

Mayor Diane Delaware also said if someone is injured as a result of a structure failure, the city is not responsible. That responsibility falls on the property owner.