Dilapidated houses given fair warning

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 19, 2003

The city of Selma is on the right track with its recent decision to stabilize a crumbling home at the corner of Lapsley and Dallas Avenue.

In the past, the home might have been demolished. It is in a state of disrepair and has become an eyesore. The current owner has ignored the home’s plight or at least has been unwilling to fix it.

So the city decided to take action. The city is going to make the repairs to the house to make it safe and presentable. Then the city is going to send the bill to the owner.

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If the owner does not pay, then the city will place a lien on the home and can sell it to recover costs. All this comes after the owner has received numerous warnings and has even appeared in court over the home’s condition. Fair warning has been given.

This is real progress in Selma. We are finally beginning to hold people accountable for the condition of our town. For so long we have complained about the appearance of our town, and we have complained that nothing seems to get done about it. Things are changing.

What we are seeing is a continuing pattern of clean up in this city and it’s great to see. The city is finally getting aggressive about cleaning up. Selma is choked with houses in poor condition and overgrown lots. We applaud our leaders for making something happen instead of fielding complaints and getting little done.

Henry Hicks, Selma’s code enforcement officer, is the point man in the fight to clean up our town. He is out in the field every day looking for situations like these and solutions. Hicks is dedicated to his job and takes it seriously.

It’s good to see city government getting behind him and letting him make some progress.

Selma may not ever be a clean and pristine town. But we can be a cleaner town and we can present a better image. The progress is slow and often it happens so slowly we can’t see the changes, but it’s happening and we’re glad to see it occurring.