A Jackson resident is singing the blues over blighted property beside and near his house.
George Harris lives on 217 Taft Street and he said he's not getting the help from city officials he needs to clean up the eyesores, so he called 3 On Your Side to help take back his neighborhood.
70-year-old George Harris proudly displayed his awards, plaques and memories on the walls inside his modest Taft Street home. Back in the day, he was known for his blues singing prowess as "Cadillac George". But the pride turns to the blues when Harris steps outside his house and walks through the neighborhood. Next door there is a burned out house, overgrown with weeds and littered with trash, a scene that is repeated all along Taft Street.
Harris said, "And I've been from the bottom to the top trying to get something done. Everybody say you're on the list; we got cha; we know this is here, you know, you don't have to call no more, we know about it."
But, said Harris, that's the extent of it.
Listing city officials he's sought help from, Harris said, "...community development, Mr. Gladney down there. I called the mayor's office. He sent a representative out here and it's always, they always saying the same thing. I'm just tired, living in these surroundings."
Harris has lived at this location for 10 years, but he grew up in the neighborhood and he said he has no plans to leave, despite the condition.
Asked what kind of problems the blight creates, Harris said, "It creates rats, roaches coming up in your houses, you know what I'm saying? And it draws the wrong type of people."
He added, "I'd like to see it cleaned up. If you notice the people that live in these houses, they got their yards cut and groomed the best that they can."
I asked Harris why he called 3 On Your Side.
"Because I knew that you be getting things done for other people and I assume you'd get it done for us."
I told him we will try and that is what we did.
I put in a call to city of Jackson spokesperson Quita Bride. She checked out three of the blighted Taft Street properties.
Bride says community improvement recently did a sweep in the ward where Taft street is located and wrote up a few cases including grass and weeds on 143 and the lot west of it; demolition of 221, and a board case on 147 Taft Street.
Bride says an open case on 235 Taft was closed after the owner cleaned it up, but with this new complaint, she says Community Improvement staffers will investigate and start a new case.
We'll keep you posted.
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