Partnership aims to fight blight in the Capital City - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Partnership aims to fight blight in the Capital City

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The state and City of Jackson are working together to take back some neighborhoods. They're starting with rundown properties and overgrown lots that dot the capital city.

"It's always good to see that," said Virden Addition Neighborhood Association President Jimmy Robinson.

The truth is, Jimmy Robinson hasn't seen much cleaning up of the eyesores in his neighborhood. A network of public and private partners willing to make it a reality is empowering.

"I said I'm going to stay here and fight," noted Robinson. "My thing was, I was an infantryman and I was a fighter. So, I said I'm going to fight. You have problems but you're going to have problems everywhere."

Here's how the program works; tax forfeited properties go up for bid. If someone in the community buys the parcel, the non-profit Revitalize Mississippi will help by cleaning it up and doing the demolition, at no cost to the buyer or the state.

In turn, the state will reduce the sale price to account for the clean-up.

"Blight is a cancer and it's spreading rapidly in this city," explained Dr. Jim Johnston, Revitalize Mississippi founder. "And it requires aggressive therapy or we're going to lose."

Dr. Johnston would like to see the model spread throughout the state. He said all it takes is someone willing to offer the financial help to make it happen.

Most importantly, it takes an engaged community that wants to see their neighborhood restored. That's something Jimmy Robinson says means the world.

"It makes me feel like someone cares," Robinson explained. "When someone cares about you and trying to help you if you put forth effort. That means a lot."

There is an online auction set up within the Secretary of State's office website. You can bid on the tax forfeited properties there.

For more information about Revitalize Mississippi, visit www.revitalizeMS.org, or e-mail jim@revitalizems.org or andy@revitalizems.org.

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