JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A Jackson business owner says for years he's tried to expand his company, but has been limited by city officials. He says the problem is an overburdened inspection department, where workers are habitually late to appointments.
Tony Smith says he owns a handful of properties in Jackson which he is renting out. He would like to rent out more, but says he's having a hard time getting the properties inspected by the city.
Smith owns a property at 329 Queen Theresa Lane. It's remained empty for months because he says city gas inspectors won't keep their appointment times.
Smith says he's called them out twice, but they arrived late, when he had already left. Smith says he is being re-charged to get inspectors to come back to the house, and is losing money, waiting on them to arrive.
Smith says, "You wait there all day, no one shows up so they'll come out the next morning and you have no idea they'll be there. Then they'll put a thing on there that says the building was locked."
Smith fears leaving his properties open for inspectors could lead to vagrants and thieves coming in unexpectedly.
City officials claim it's Smith who is never at the property at the time of inspection.
Code Services Deputy Director Kevin Taylor says, "I checked the records before I came down, we have been out there twice and each occasion we came, the structure was locked.
City officials say if they receive an inspection permit before noon, they usually can make it to the property that day. If it comes in after noon, they usually make it the next day, and give the contractor a four hour period in the morning or afternoon to meet them there.
Tony Smith says he plans to bring his issues before city leaders, during next week's city council meeting.
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