Taking Back Our Neighborhoods - Improving Community Improvement - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods - Improving Community Improvement

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

I showed you some eyesore property, last month, on Denson Avenue in west Jackson. It had life-long resident Kendra Collier at wits end over what to do about it. She had emailed 3 On Your Side because nothing was getting done.

Now a month later, Collier sent an email saying, "No one has come out and done anything about the issue yet. Now that it is spring time, it has really grown up over there."

I went to Jackson City Hall to find out why there's no action.

Asked if it had ever been this bad before, Kendra Collier said, "No, it actually got this bad a couple of years ago."

She was talking about Denson Avenue in April. Now, a month later, it's worse. The weeds are taller and more garbage has been dumped on this property. There was a city marker and old tire covering huge holes in the street. The marker is gone and the holes have been filled in.

So, why isn't the city taking action here. For one thing, it's just one of hundreds of substandard properties that need attention in Jackson. But progress came to a screeching halt after Jackson city councilman Quentin Whitwell called for an investigation into how this department, Community Improvement, did business.

"In terms of over the past however many years, four to six years, I think that there were mothers, brothers, cousins, all kind of people that did, in fact, receive contracts," said Whitwell.

So, all work ceased until city officials came up with a new procurement process.

Chris Mims, Director of Communications for the City of Jackson said, "That process should begin to start this week and residents probably should see work taking place in another couple of weeks where we will be taking down some houses and getting some lots cleared."

As for the charges of nepotism, Mims says they did not have any evidence of it. Whitwell suggested the investigation should continue.

"I'm waiting to see, as Councilman Yarber said earlier today, where the accountability is and if we don't see anyone being held accountable, for what was done wrong, then I think we will have to continue to look at it," said Whitwell.

Investigation or not, Jackson residents like Kendra Collier just want to take back their neighborhoods and city officials promise clean up will resume and continue.

City officials plan to hire a person to oversee contract compliance. We'll keep you posted. 

Let us help you take back your neighborhood. Just send an email to hballou@wlbt.com or contact me on Facebook or Twitter.

Copyright 2012 WLBT. All rights reserved.

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