Jackson cracks down on blighted properties - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Jackson cracks down on blighted properties

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) -

Since the Jackson Police Department's took over Code Enforcement back in 2014, Commander Jay Coleman says 335 lots have been seized and demolished; lots that are left abandoned, overgrown, and in need of some TLC. 

"Right now, the main issue is getting in contact with the owners, cause a lot of them are out of state/LLC's,"  said Commander Coleman. "They tie up the properties from being sold to citizens by paying their taxes."

Commander Coleman says they can charge owners fines and with jail time for failing to maintain their property, but it's difficult for the city to take ownership of the lot if the property tax is still being paid. Now, they're working to tailor existing laws that would allow Jackson to seize property when someone uses it for drugs or prostitution.

"We're going through the ordinances and changing some of the language to make it adaptable to Jackson," added Commander Coleman. "That's why we haven't made any seizures strictly on that, but we are in the planning stages of that."

Many of the lots the city has seized and demolished, they've had to take a hit financially until they can get them sold. Commander Coleman says his department hopes to decrease those cost by partnering with the fire department to have them come out and do controlled burns.

"I mean it's training for the fire department like I said it's in a controlled setting and it's a demolition for us," said Coleman. "We can possibly sell that property and get it back on the tax roll, but the main thing is that structure will be gone."

Ignoring code enforcement notices could land you a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail. If you are caught in violation twice in two years, then its a fine of $1,000 dollars per day and 90 days in jail.

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