JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A west Jackson homeowner has been struggling to get an eyesore, across the street, cleaned up. It's a vacant lot located on the corner of Clinton Boulevard and Rosehaven Drive. The owner hasn't taken care of the property; neither has the city. And Renee Riptoe says one city official even told her to call Three On Your Side if she wants anything done; so, she did and I checked it out.
Riptoe said, "Aside from it just being an eyesore, it's getting to the point now where it's actually a public threat and health nuisance."
She is talking about the vacant lot adjacent to her Clinton Boulevard home. There are the wood rats that come onto her property and then the unthinkable happened on a recent Wednesday night as she returned home from church.
Riptoe said, "I got mugged right here in my driveway."
She says the attacker was hiding behind trees on the vacant lot.
"And there's almost no lighting on this block. It's almost pitch black at night," said Riptoe.
The lot on Rosehaven Drive is so overgrown that when you come to the end of the street, you cannot even see the stop sign right there that goes to Clinton Boulevard. We found the property belongs to Heartland Homes, a company based in Pearl. Riptoe says the owner, Jonathan Gibbs, told her he planned to build houses on the property. That was three years ago and he has not maintained the property.
Riptoe said, "The city cleaned it about a year and a half; almost two years ago, but not since then and the property owner will not clean it up at all."
So, Riptoe says she called the councilman for her ward, Frank Bluntson, who sent a representative named Willie Patton.
Riptoe said, "We walked through the entire length of the lot and he was telling me, well the city had put a freeze on cleaning up stuff like this but, right now, it's not guaranteed it's gonna get done. The only way you going to get this done, you're going to have to call Three On Your Side, because ain't no guarantee."
What can be guaranteed is that Riptoe and other residents of Hibernia Hills are fed up with the blight.
"I just wish somebody would help us, please, over here in west Jackson!" said Riptoe.
That help is on the way. I called Community Improvement manager, Claude Smith. He had a code enforcement officer check it out this afternoon and now a case has been started on the lot with the city first contacting the owner, Heartland Homes of Pearl. We will keep you posted.
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