New Albany to fight blight

Reported by: Susan Parker
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Updated: 8/01/2013 5:44 pm
NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WTVA) -- Dan Gafford is frustrated. He lives next door to an abandoned house.

"It's been abandoned for two years since it caught fire there and they just kind of walked off and left it."

Abandonment lengthens the process for removal, but Baron Baker plans to follow it through.

He's the city's new code enforcement officer.

Three weeks into the job and a full assessment of blight is underway.

He plans to begin his cleanup effort with education.

"We want to educate them and try to get these ordinances out there so they can be aware of them and help us out as well."

Last year, the city stepped up efforts to remove blight. That's when they decided to create the code enforcement officer position and fill it with a certified police officer.

They are going to continue to target abandoned properties.

Katie Kidd is ready for that to happen behind her house.

She says a mobile home is abandoned and needs to go.

"It's just frustrating for it to be back there and nobody knows anything about it."

She says the situation is making is difficult to sell her house.

"City officials took the steps to remove it as they will in other parts of the city. Their chief goal is to remove blight.

They are serious about a number of potential violations including abandoned vehicles, overgrown lawns and property left in disrepair.
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