Picayune’s blighted homes removed relatively quickly

Published 7:00 am Saturday, January 14, 2017

The Picayune Public Works Department removed a blighted house on Friday, the second out of five homes put on the demolition list for 2017.

These houses have been vacant for a year or more after fires or natural decay has caused damage to the structures, and as a result, have been declared a nuisance by the city.

While neighbors may say the removal of these blighted properties are a long time coming, other areas of Mississippi are experiencing even longer demolition waits.

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A report from WLBT states there are homes in Jackson that were damaged over three years ago and still sit in blight. It may seem like the process to remove blighted homes from the prosperous and well cared for areas of Picayune is arduous, those measures are put in place for a reason.

City officials wait a certain amount of time before demolishing a property in an effort to work with property owners to see if the house or lot can either be cleaned up, or an agreement can be reached.

Last week, the first home on the 2017 demolition list was conducted in full agreement with the property owner after the house burned in 2016.

Yesterday’s demolition was the result of 18 months worth of attempted communications with the property owner, to no avail.

The house received significant fire damage, even extending to the exterior of a neighbor’s home, and was becoming a site for suspicious activity.

The city of Picayune’s efforts to make a yearly cleanup a priority is highly commendable. These properties will either be put up for sale or reused to build improved properties that could increase the value of an entire neighborhood.

The task can seem painstakingly slow for neighbors who have to see such eyesores every day, but the efficiency and the routine nature of the program helps keep Picayune’s neighborhoods blight-free.