Some frustrated by slow cleanup

Published 11:25 pm Wednesday, August 12, 2009

SELMA — Some residents of Riverview Drive in Ward 3 say they’re increasingly concerned about the safety and welfare of their neighborhood because of the number of dilapidated houses boarded up along the way.

Karen Weir and her husband refurbished a house not long ago on the street.

“Riverview does need to have the abandoned houses’ owners fined and have the houses boarded up so they can’t be ‘used’ by illegal activities,” she said. “Once that is taken care of, I feel people will invest in the neighborhood and fix it up if they feel it is safe.”

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Many of the houses are cute and are in a good price range for what Weir calls a “great location.”

In July Gail Coulson, another Riverview neighborhood resident, spoke to the Selma City Council about the need to clean up the area.

Ward 3 Council member Dr. Monica Newton has become increasingly frustrated with efforts to have dilapidated houses inspected by code enforcement employees and razed if they do not meet standards.

“I have no confidence in code enforcement,” Newton said publicly at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Newton said she had given the code enforcement department addresses of several places that need attention. Those addresses have not shown up for any action.

“No houses marked to be demolished in Ward 3, but plenty in [wards] 6 and 7,” she said.

Any given ride in Riverview would find 10 houses with posted, condemned and do not trespass signs, Newton said.

“Priorities [are] determined by code enforcement. We have gotten three down since I have been elected,” she said.

Mayor George Evans said the city is working as quickly as it can to take care of the issue.

“We have a lot of these houses,” he said.

Dilapidated houses have become a target. The properties are deemed dangerous or a nuisance by code enforcement. A list is drawn up and the council approves action. The city clerk sends a certified letter to the owners or agents of the properties notifying them the property is classified as dangerous or a nuisance. The property owner has 31 days to clean up or demolish the structure.

City Attorney Jimmy Nunn said the owner could appeal to the Board of Adjustment for Code after having the letter for 10 days.

The latest properties cited by the council Tuesday are:

1303 Church St., Ward 7, James A Crocheron and heirs of, c/o Charles Norwood, 102 Lashley Dr., Selma;

209 Ward St., Ward 1, State of Alabama, c/o Larry Doyal, 201 Administrative Building, Montgomery;

1537 St. Ann St., Ward 6, Jody T. Pilcher & Lori A. Laporte, P.O. Box 1250, Selma;

1122 Griffin Ave., Ward 6, heirs of Thomas Towns, 124 Deerfield, Selma;

1124-1128 Griffin Ave., Ward 6, heirs of Thomas Towns, 124 Deerfield, Selma;

1302 Washington St., Ward 6, heirs of Thomas Towns, 124 Deerfield, Selma;

1129 Union St., Ward 7, Willie Allen, 2509 Schatulga Road, Columbus, Ga.;

1312 St. Phillips, Ward 6, Calvin Clark, 987 Randolph Circle, Selma;

1822 St. Phillips St., Ward 6, Aaron McKinley, P.O. Box 1395, Selma;

1918 First Ave., Ward 5, Laverne Stoudenmire, 2608 Harris St., Selma;

1916 First Ave., Ward 5, Willie G. Hollis, c/o Johnnie Hollis, 2688 Burkelaun Dr., Montgomery;

2025 First Ave., Ward 6, Ida Ash & Willie Johnson, 2025 First Ave., Selma;

2100 Elkdale St., Ward 5, James & Sharie Johnson, 519 Columbia Dr., Selma;

818 First Ave., Ward 7, Helen Frison, 1000 Gladstelle Road, Apt. 908, Conroe, Texas;

1715 Lawrence St., Ward 4, Nathaniel Brown Sr., James Brown & Nathaniel Brown Jr., 2608 Granville Ave., Bessemer;

523 Barrington St., Ward 1, Miller & Co. No. 1, P.O. Box 770, Selma;

2522 Perham Ave., Ward 8, Ruzene Fisher, c/o Andrew Fisher, 207 Countrywood Dr., Warner Robbins, Ga.;

1537 St. Ann St., Ward 6, Jody Pilcher, P.O. Box 1250, Selma;

600 block Barrington Avenue, Ward 1, Dewitt D. Matthews & Annie, 575 Stuart St., Daphne;

1405 Washington St., Ward 6, Collins Pettaway Sr., 122 Persimmon St., Birmingham;

2720 Etheridge Ave., Ward 6, WLJ & SFPJ Family Limited Partnership, P.O. Box 1800, Selma;

1700 Marie Foster, Ward 5, Edna Mae Gree, 1543 Legrand St., Selma;

1424 St. Ann St., Ward 6, Mildred Burwell Bettis, P.O. Box 1331, Selma;

104 Wilson St., Ward 8, Michael C. McCloud & Larry K. McCloud, 261 Murfee Dr., Prattville;

214 Minter Ave., Ward 7, Katherine E. Boglin & Dorothy F. Deyambert & heirs of, 403 Jeff Davis, Selma