Curb appeal dominates city meeting

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 14, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; Ways to improve the city’s appearance came up repeatedly during Tuesday’s meeting of the Natchez Board of Aldermen.

Alderwoman Sue Stedman asked Public Works Director Richard Burke to attempt to negotiate a change in the garbage pickup schedule downtown.

Stedman cited newspaper articles published in recent days in which business owners expressed concerns about trash being left in front of businesses on Fridays but not picked up until Mondays.

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That allows animals to get into the garbage and doesn’t present a good image to weekend visitors, Stedman said.

Alderwoman Joyce Arceneaux said she first mentioned the problem two years ago. &uot;I agree that’s something we need to revisit,&uot; Arceneaux said.

Burke said he would contact Waste Management but added that those who leave their garbage out, except during the hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., are in violation of city ordinances anyway.

Stedman also pointed out that the city needs its residents to help with the cleanup effort.

Later in the meeting, Alderman David Massey asked for more specifics on the process of citing the owners of abandoned vehicles. Massey said a property owner with several such vehicles lives not far from his house.

Municipal Judge John Tipton said owners of abandoned cars can be assessed a fine and jail time, although the jail time would probably be suspended if the owner removed the vehicles within a time limit set by the court.

First, however, the city’s code enforcement officer will simply ask the owner to move the vehicles, Tipton said.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, Alderman Ricky Gray told fellow board members about House Bill 1080.

That bill, which was passed this year, would allow sheriffs to use prisoner work crews to clean up overgrown cemeteries that were at least 100 years old. &uot;I’m pretty sure the Watkins Street Cemetery qualifies for that,&uot; Gray said, referring to a cemetery that has made headlines as an eyesore.

Gray said he would forward to county Supervisor Darryl Grennell a copy of the law and a request for prisoners crews to be used to clean up that cemetery. Gray also asked that a request be made to Archives and History for the department to go on record declaring the cemetery to be more than 100 years old.

In other business, the board voted to allow crews to cut grass on 11 lots throughout the city.