Nuisance properties to be cleaned
by Paisley Boston
Jul 08, 2014 | 1311 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ruben Woods, owner of South Delta Regional Housing Authority, appeared before the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors to defend the company's nuisance properties.
Ruben Woods, owner of South Delta Regional Housing Authority, appeared before the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors to defend the company's nuisance properties.
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South Delta Regional Housing Authority, owner of some properties in the Eastgate Subdivision in Cleveland, appeared before Bolivar County Board of Supervisors on Monday to defend the company's nuisance properties.

According to Supervisors James McBride and Preston Billings, the company's visit was long over due.

"We have individuals who are concerned about cleanliness. We just simply have to have these areas clean. I took this job in 2012 and I am one of those individuals who believes in taking action. If you want something done, you must do it yourself," said Billings.

"Because of this nuisance, our kids cannot play in these particular areas. These issues need to be addressed immediately," Billings said in reference to an empty lot used as a ball field.

Board attorney Linda Coleman said she issued a number of letters to various property owners throughout the county about nuisance issues.

"The board determined that there are several places throughout the county that have been labeled as being nuisance properties. We researched the properties and found out that some of them belong to the South Delta Regional Housing Authority in the Eastgate Subdivision, William Johnson and the other properties belong to the Columbus and Greenville Railway Company," said Coleman.

"Some of these properties contained old cars, debris and burned material. In these letters we asked that the owner remove certain elements from the properties," said Coleman.

"Letters were mailed to these individuals in the early part of June. We also posted signs on each property. The board has the authority to place a lean against the properties," she added.

Johnson and the Columbus and Greenville Railway Company did not appear to defend their property; therefore, the board determined that the properties were in fact nuisances but representatives from South Delta Regional Housing Authority did appear to defend their properties.

South Delta owner Ruben Woods and Executive Director Patricia Logan defended the properties by explaining how they would remedy the nuisances.

"We recently began cleaning most of the properties. When tenants move out of the properties and we are not notified in a timely manner, we tend to fall behind in up keeping the property," said Woods.

Woods also said he was unaware of the conditions of and around the property.

"We usually have a contractor that goes around and keeps the properties clean. Before for received the letters, we began cleaning some of the properties. We only knew about these areas because we did a little sight seeing," he added.

"We place no trespassing signs on some of the property because we did have problems with individuals sitting outside and throwing trash around the areas. We have also had problems with individuals going into the vacant houses and stealing copper," said Woods.

"We have pretty much done everything that we can possibly do about the situation and now we plan to keep a closer eye on the properties," he continued.

Logan said the property in which Billings referred to is not the responsibility of South Delta.

"The properties were given to the Negro League Council of Bolivar County between 1999–2000. Upon receiving the property, they were given strict orders to take care of the property and they agreed to do so," said Logan.

"Prior to them receiving the property, there was no baseball field, in fact, it was just an open field. The organization chose to make it into a baseball field. All of that is their responsibility," she added.

Billings made a motion that would allow county workers to clean up around the nuisance properties and bill the owners.

"Instead of waiting to get back with the owners, I would like for this to be taken care of as soon as possible," said Billings.

The motion was approved and members of the board decided to make a determination on the properties at a later date.