Opp abates Charles Street home – again

Published 9:25 pm Monday, November 17, 2014

More complaints have been made concerning a property in Opp, and the city council has once again issued an abatement.

The home, located at 402 Charles St., has come before the council for the fourth time in two years after multiple complaints from neighbors about the condition of the property.

The owner, known simply as Jerry, has 30 days to provide the city a plan of action to repair the property, but Councilman T.D. Morgan said the man is unable to make a case.

“He does not have the mental capability to make a case,” Morgan said. “He won’t be able to represent himself.”

The property came in front of the council first in April 2013 and twice in September 2014.

During the Sept. 2, 2014, meeting, the owner was given time to clean up the yard and to recruit volunteers to repair the home.

“It has been brought up three times to be cleaned up, but nothing has been done,” Mayor John Bartholomew said.

In September, Morgan volunteered time to help make repairs to the property surrounding the house and said windows would be donated to replace the missing ones.

According to Bartholomew, there is no water, electricity or sewage to the house, and no windows have been replaced.

City Inspector Wanda Summers said the front door to the home was kicked in recently, and no one was there during that time.

“Jerry (the owner) has no income,” Summers said. “He has no means of fixing up the house.”

The revenue commissioner’s assessment appraises the home at $17,670, with a replacement cost of $29,000, according to the city.

Morgan said that he has heard from neighbors that have seen the owner entering and leaving the home, but Bartholomew said he has heard opposite reports.

Councilman Arlin Davis’s motion to declare the property a public nuisance was seconded by Councilman Mike Booth, and received the third vote from Councilman Bobby Ray Owens.

Morgan and Councilwoman Mary Brundidge opposed the plan.

“If you abate this property, you put a man on the street,” Morgan said.

Bartholomew said the residence was checked after the meeting and no one answered the door.