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County Offers Solution For Junky Property

WATER VALLEY – Following a flurry of comments in recent months across the county about junky property, county supervisors have expressed interest in utilizing a state statute that could provide relief.  The statute allows neighbors in reasonable proximity to a perceived eyesore to petition the Board of Supervisors for relief.  

The topic was discussed at a Feb. 17 supervisor meeting when Board Attorney John Crow told supervisors they could act upon a petition from the public or on their own accord to clean up property by cutting weeds, filling cisterns and removing rubbish, dilapidated fences, outside toilets, dilapidated buildings and other debris. 

Citing Section 19-5-105, Crow explained that the property owner must be notified and a hearing scheduled.  At the hearing if supervisors deem the property is a menace to public health and the safety of the community, they can order the property to be cleaned up and use county equipment and manpower or contract with a company to perform the work. The cost of cleaning the property can also be assessed to the property owner.

“I have numerous properties in my district that have abandoned cars, mobile homes, houses, burned out houses, junk, garbage, you name it, it is there.” District 3 Lee McMinn said during the discussion.  “I would like the general public to know they can petition the board where they can get some relief.”

Other business discussed at the meeting included:

• Opted not to rebid the grass cutting for county property. 

“I am fine with leaving it the way it is,” Board President Cayce Washington said, noting the price will remain the same.

• Agreed to solicit bids to cut hay on the county-owned property adjacent to Ajinomoto Windsor Foods in Oakland. The bid specifications require the hay cutter have liability insurance. The high bidder will have a three-year contract on the property and be required to cut the area at lease twice a year.

• Agreed to advertise for a used asphalt zipper for District 5. Supervisor Gaylon Gray explained the equipment will grind up portions of road that have potholes before the area is patched.

• Approved an application from Harrison Logging to exceed the posted weight limit while hauling timber on County Road 215 in Districts 1 and 5.  A second application was approved from Jeremy Aron on County Roads 158, 141 and 139 in District 5.   As part of the application process each company must post a $2,000 bond to cover any damages assessed by supervisors.

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