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Old Shrimp Shack location demolished

A building that was a service station many years ago met its end last week after being condemned after it was heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Many others are in line for the same fate.

About eight condemned buildings have been torn down since the City of Picayune decided to rid itself of dilapidated buildings, and about 118 more are slated for demolition, said Picayune Building Inspector Shane Whitfield.

“We’re going to step it up,” Whitfield said.

One of the most recent buildings to be torn down was the old location for the Shrimp Shack in Picayune. Whitfield said he remembers when it was a service station with gas pumps right next to U.S. 11. When the demolition team was done, nothing but a pile of rubble was left.

About one dilapidated building a day will be torn down in Picayune in the effort to clean up the city. Owners of the problem buildings have been notified either by certified mail or by a legal notice printed in the paper, if they were unable to be reached in other ways, Whitfield said.

Public outcry has kept city officials informed of where dilapidated buildings are located.

“We don’t have to go out looking for them, (residents) are calling us,” Whitfield said.

After a building is deemed a public nuisance, the city sends the owner notification that it needs to be repaired, torn down or cleaned up, whichever best suits each circumstance, Whitfield said. If the city has to take care of the problem, then the cost of the maintenance or demolition is put on the tax roll as a lien on the home or property, he said. After the owner has been given notification of the problem, they have 30 days from the time notification is received to clean it up.

Other situations that could be deemed a public nuisance include yards with junk cars, high grass, or trash strewn about, City Manger Ed Pinero said. The owner also has the option of hiring a private contractor to help take care of the problem, he said.

“We’re just addressing the public health concerns,” Pinero said.

After the dilapidated building is torn down and any or all liens are taken care of, the owner can rebuild or sell the property, the city manager said.