Abandoned house Is not being ignored

Published 5:40 pm Monday, April 16, 2007

An abandoned house on Entrekin Road just outside of Picayune that has been a cause of concern for some citizens of the area is not going unnoticed by the county.

The property, located at the south end of Entrekin near Sycamore Road, stands in stark contrast to the rest of the homes in the area. The house is dilapidated and the yard is overrun with weeds and grass. Perhaps the biggest concern is the R.V. camper which sits just off the road on the southwest corner of the property. One side has pulled loose and is falling off of the camper and debris has spilled out onto the shoulder of the road posing a hazard to vehicles traveling on the road.

In an interview Friday morning, Chief Building Inspector Kirk Pichon said his office has been trying to contact property owner Jerry Drennan for some time now, sending letters by regular and certified mail. So far, all correspondence has been returned undeliverable.

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“That’s a problem we have with these things. Finding the owners is always a difficult situation, especially on houses that are dilapidated. Sometimes it takes months to locate an owner or somebody responsible for a piece of property,” said Pichon.

Pichon also said if a resident has a problem with a property in the county, a complaint should be filed with the building code office in Poplarville. Complaints can be filed on commercial and residential structures, but complaints must be signed. “If they’re willing to sign it, we’ll investigate it and act on it accordingly,” said Pichon.

“We don’t go around looking for these properties,” said Pichon. “We work solely off of complaints from residents.”

Pichon said once complaints are registered, numerous attempts to contact the owners are made. For example, Pichon said the building code office has sent 39 notices of violation, five notices of demolition, five notices of condemnation, and three demolition orders.

If all attempts are exhausted and a property owner cannot be located, the county will clean up the property, but Pichon said this is a last resort.

Pichon said once a complaint has been made, information about the status of the complaint can be obtained at the building code office by calling (601) 403-2202 and asking to speak to Code Enforcement Officer Don Fleming.

In a phone interview Friday afternoon, property owner Jerry Drennan said he has plans to “get out there this weekend and start cleaning it up.” Drennan said he has been unable to work on the property due to injury, but hopes it won’t take long to get the property cleaned up. “It does look bad,” Drennan said.

Drennan said he was unaware that inspectors had been trying to reach him, but he would contact them and let them know of his plans to clean the property.