Richland man objects to city cleaning his private property - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Richland man objects to city cleaning his private property

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RICHLAND, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Early Thursday morning in the 100 block of Scarbrough Street crews were tearing down a storage shed and hauling away items in James Beard's backyard.

"They show up this morning and say they're going to start tearing this stuff down," said Beard.

"Everything my dad has worked for, my grandfather's antiques that were in there, they are hauling stuff to the garbage," said Beard's daughter Shannon Beard.

The property owner called WLBT after the crews that were hired by the city showed up.  He said he obeyed Richland City official's requests to fence in his yard and block the view from the street.

"I've done what I'm supposed to do.  They told me to put the fence up.  I did.  They told me put a six foot fence up. I  put an 8 foot fence up," said Mr. Beard.

He claims he's been at odds with city officials for about one year and health issues have kept him from cleaning up the cluttered yard. "They're just not easy to work with, they're not," said Mr. Beard.

Richland Building Official and Zoning Administrator Jeff Sims showed our crew not one year, but 11 years worth of documents.

"July of 2000 is when we started talking to him about the condition of his property," said Sims.

Warnings, citations and pictures of junk filled the folder about Beard's property.

"Trash, vehicles, debris, junk tires, junk metal, junk motors, it has just been going on and on and on," said Sims.

Taking Beard's health into consideration the city acted slowly.  According to Sims, Beard started building his fence a year ago and was still not finished.

"Too much time and money is spent on one person to clean up property.  In this case it was too much time," said Sims.

After warning Beard multiple times to clean up the yard, Sims said they had to hire crews to do the work for him.

Beard claimed he never received notices from the City of Richland to clean up his yard.  He said he plans to file harassment charges against city officials.

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