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Jackson Co. to start hearings on post-Katrina neglected land

Flooding from Hurricane Katrina has left some land in Jackson County in bad enough shape that supervisors may have to declare the property a menace to public health and safety.

Supervisors are scheduled to review on Jan. 22 at least 23 parcels of privately owned property. Most of the property are homes that were flooded by Katrina and left in disrepair with little likelihood that the owner will step up and fix them.

Some were a problem before Katrina hit, but it’s the post-Katrina neglected properties supervisors Frank Leach and John McKay have expressed concerns about, as so many homes in their districts were flooded.

If supervisors find any of the 23 properties a menace, they can have county crews clear them, clean them and assess the cost to the property owners in the form of lien on the land.

County Planning Director Michele Coats has told supervsiors that only two of the property owners have responded to letters. McKay said most of the property owners are probably from out of state or live out of the county.

“We’re 15 months after the storm and they’ve done nothing,” McKay said. “I have no sympathy for these people.”