City of Vicksburg approves liens for cleaning properties

Published 3:56 pm Monday, September 25, 2023

The City of Vicksburg has filed liens totaling $4,387 to recover the cost of cleaning and clearing 21 properties in the city.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the liens at its meeting on Monday. Two of those properties are owned by the state of Mississippi.

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, an enter the property and cut and clean it or hire a contractor to do so, and then charge the property owner to recover its expenses.

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If the property owner does not reimburse the city within a certain period of time, the board goes to the county tax rolls and places liens on the properties to recover the costs, which means the city has to wait until the property owner pays their taxes or sells the property to recover the costs.

The state of Mississippi, which picks up the properties that are not claimed at tax sales, is exempt under state law from paying taxes and the liens on the land. The state can make limited reimbursements to a city for property cleaning and maintenance costs, but the costs cannot exceed the amount of the property’s selling price.

Ward 1 Alderman Michael Mayfield, who is over the city’s Community Development Department, has been pushing for people with derelict and overgrown property to clean their sites.

“I really don’t know what I’m going to have to do to wake the citizens of the city up to what’s around them,” he said. “You can ride down frankly any street in the city and find properties on those streets that are outside the code; so many of the citizens won’t clean up around their homes.

Mayfield said a minimum of three inspectors tour the city daily and the board receives reports outlining code violations such as dilapidated buildings, inoperable cars parked on the street and overgrown lots. The violations are discussed at each board meeting, “And the last three or four board meetings in a row they’ve (inspectors) come with 10 or 12, 15 of them (properties) on their list.”

Out of the total violations the board reviews, he said, approximately 20 percent of the property owners will comply. When the board tries to get the other property owners to improve their properties, Mayfield said, “All we’re getting now are excuses.”

“I have just pleaded with these people and I try to always be cordial with them,”  Mayfield said. “I let them know, ‘Hey, you’re messing up your community. You should want to live in a good, decent community.'”

The properties getting liens include:

• 2626 Ken Karyl Ave., PPIN 5050; owned by Martha Ann Rand

• 1601 Martin Luther King Blvd., PPIN 19162; owned by Keith McCarter

• 1406 Farmer St., PPIN 18939; owned by Jack Crawford

• 502 Fairground Street, PPIN 24008; owned by Regina Antoinette Real

• 1046 Meadow St., PPIN 17231; owned by Marcella Price Walton Estate

• 909 National St., PPIN 5648; owned by Dipen Patel

• 2624 Ken Karyl Ave., PPIN 5049; owned by P&E Contractors

• 1604 Martin Luther King Blvd., PPIN 19194; owned by Cheap Home Finders, Inc.

• 1507 Lummie St., PPIN 13815; owned by Sean McRavin

• 1400 South St., PPIN 16090; owned by Paul C. Morgan

• 1216 Fayette St., PPIN 19471; owned by Gladys G. Bingham

• 1518 Sky Farm Ave., PPIN 19775; owned by Land Lot & Beyond LLC

• 2628 Roosevelt Ave., PPIN 13071; owned by Stacy Smith & Quentin Smith

• 2630 Roosevelt Ave., PPIN 13072; owned by Heat Management, LLC

• 2503 Togo St., PPIN 15584; owned by Revenant Properties, LLC

• 1615 Sky Farm Ave., PPIN 19731; owned by Marie D. Smith Estate & N To N Home

• 1600 Lane St., PPIN 15371; owned by Michael Jernakoff

• 0 Lane St., PPIN 15370; owned by Larry D. Minor et al c/o Larry D. Minor

• 816 Patton St., PPIN 15684; owned by State of Mississippi

• 1719 Martin Luther King Blvd., PPIN 19793; owned by the state of Mississippi

• 221 Willow Drive; PPIN 11821; owned by Samuel Jacob Barnette/state of Mississippi

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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