City should take care of eyesores

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 19, 2006

Natchez Alderman James &8220;Rickey&8221; Gray took out his common sense hammer Tuesday and hit the nail on the head of an ongoing problem in part of Natchez &8212; unsecured abandoned property.

Gray brought the matter before the Natchez Board of Aldermen after two abandoned houses in his district suspiciously caught fire.

The possibility that the fires were set deliberately has residents near the charred remains worried, and rightfully so.

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As Gray pointed out, the houses have no one living in them &8212; or at least they are not supposed to have inhabitants. The houses don&8217;t have electrical service turned out.

Outside of either lightning or spontaneous combustion, the possibilities seem to point toward human hands as the cause.

The solution, it would seem, is simple. Fix the problems. The city has laws that prohibit having an unsecured, abandoned house, Police Chief Mike Mullins told aldermen.

Now we just need to enforce the codes already on the books. Doesn&8217;t the city still have a city code enforcement officer? Maybe the code enforcement officer needs a map to help him find all the open, abandoned property.

Gray picked up the hammer and pointed out the nail. Now we just need to drive the solution home &8212; enforcement. Let&8217;s hope we can get things moving before someone gets hurt when another house burns.