City places liens on 29 properties

Published 9:39 pm Friday, September 23, 2016


Twenty-nine vacant, derelict properties — 25 of those owned by the State of Mississippi — now have liens placed against them by the city.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Friday approved the liens totaling $1,070 to cover the cost of cleaning and clearing the properties by contractors hired by the city. The list drew the ire of North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield.

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“I have said this tens of thousands of times. People, the city of Vicksburg is not going to cut and clean your property for you,” Mayfield said.

“If my wife can take a Weed Eater, or my father, who passed last year, was able when he was alive at 86 years old to take his Weed Eater and his lawnmower and cut his own grass, you can, too. But we have some young people in this city who are just too lazy to get up and take care of their property. I looked at this list. Twenty-seven of those 29 properties are in the North Ward.”

Under city ordinances, property owners are required to take care of and maintain their property. If they fail to do so, the city, under its ordinances and state law, can go on the property and cut and clean it or hire a contractor to do so and then charge the property owner.

If the property owner does not pay the bill, the city can place a lien on the property which must be paid when the property is sold.

“This is costing the city money,” Mayfield said. “We must have lost about $600,000 cutting people’s properties. People, clean up your property, and it’s our responsibility to do whatever we have to do (to get it clean). If we take you to court, we take you to court, but we shouldn’t have to do that.”

He said people criticize him for pushing to enforce the city’s ordinance on property.

“I don’t want anybody to have to live around something I don’t want to live around,” he said.


About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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