4 plead cases for abated properties; council votes to proceed with abatements

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 30, 2013

Four people stated their cases to the Opp City Council on why they haven’t cleaned up their properties and what their plan of action would be to clean it up.

The council heard from:

• Waylon Nelson, who was speaking on behalf of J.W. and Pamela Nelson’s home at the intersection of Cummings Avenue and Douglas Street.

Nelson said his mother and father had health problems and he was left to take care of the property, but had also had several surgeries.

“I don’t want nothing to happen to my family’s property,” he said.

He requested an additional three months to clean up the property, which hasn’t had power since 2007.

City Clerk Connie Smith said the property had already been abated several times.

The council voted to proceed with the abatement process. Mary Brundidge voted no.

• Bennie Day about a home located at 211 Micolas Street. Day said he didn’t dispute the house was a nuisance, but was asking for six months to demolish the house.

“There is prime lumber in the floor joists,” he said.

The utilities services have been pulled from the home.

The council voted to proceed with the abatement process.

• Eddie Mullins about a home at the intersection of Kolb Avenue and Hardin Street. The roof is falling in on the property.

Mullins told the council the building was a big part of Opp’s black community. He said he had long wanted to make it a positive element in the community, but hasn’t had the funding to do so.

Mullins requested that the city allow him to take off the roof and let the building stand as is.

The council voted to 3-2 to abate the property with TD Morgan and Brundidge voting against the measure.

• James Whitt about the home located at the South end of Micolas Street and owned by Merri Swindell. Whitt said Swindell passed away and they were able to get a quick claim to the property.

He asked the council to give his family until January to tear down the property.

“We want to tear it down,” he said. “We want to take the trees down, too.”

Whitt said he has plans of putting a pre-fab house on the property.

The council voted to continue with the abatement process.

The owners now have 10 days to appeal the action in circuit court, City Planner Jason Bryan said.

The council also voted to proceed with the abatements for the following properties, as owners didn’t request a hearing:

• A house located at 305 Dry Street, owned by Charles and Mary Boyett. Bryan said the owner had requested the city move forward and send him the bill;

• A property located at the southwest corner of the intersection of Hart Avenue and Spurlin Street and owned by Hinton Elmore;

• A property at 408 Hardin Street, owned by Hattie Mae Reed; and

• A property at 307 Danley Avenue, owned by Minnie Barlow and in the care of James Stoudemire. Bryan said the home has been a habitat for wild cats, is vacant and the floors are falling in.