The city council set public hearings for 31 pieces of dilapidated properties within the city, including a parcel belonging to a former building inspector.
During Monday’s meeting, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the scheduling of public hearings to determine if 31 properties are in a state of uncleanliness, constituting a health and safety risk to the public. Owners of those parcels will have the opportunity to either clean-up their properties or appear before the city council to ask for more time to address their lots.
Among those 31 pieces of property, one overgrown lot belongs to Obie McClure, a former city building inspector. Current Building Inspector Russ Carter had to provide two separate photographs of the corner lot at 540 Williams Street to city leaders. In one photograph, the dilapidated home could not even be seen from the enormous amount of vegetation overgrowing the structure.
Based on a new technological database, Carter has identified 196 properties within Yazoo City that are dilapidated.
“And there are more,” said Mayor Diane Delaware. “Also, we are not trying to ignore any bad houses or giving saving grace to anyone. We are making our way around our houses.”
Delaware also reminded the city board that if the city must take action in demolishing the structures on these lots, the receipt of taxes may go down for the city. However, she said that possibility simply comes with addressing dilapidated properties within the community.
“These properties are assessed taxes, and often we find that people are actually paying taxes on these pieces of property,” she said. “But the properties are right beside where people live. We are trying to make sure there is a clear understanding that when we make a decision to take a property down, more than likely, we are also deciding that no taxes will be paid on that property ever again, theoretically.”
Delaware said that many owners of the properties in question do not even live within the community. However, there are even a few who live right next door to the dilapidated lots.
“We notify these owners so that they are aware that these properties are causing damage to the city of Yazoo City,” Delaware said.