The City of Clarksdale is cleaning up its act.
The Board of Mayor and Commissioners voted Monday to set hearings on the city’s plans to either make 18 property owners clean up their property or see the city demolish the homes and send the property owner a bill for the work.
The city received a $50,000 grant last year to demolish nuisance property. They have hired both demolition crews to come in and tear down the structures and trucks to haul off the debris and spread dirt given to the city for free to level the sites.
Properties named to list for hearings were:
• 425 Lynn Street
• 524 Lynn Street
• 1313 Melrose Cove
• 503 School Street
• 729 School Street
• 217 Catalpa Street
• 523 Catalpa Street
• 526 Cherry Street
• 1404 MLK Blvd
• 524 Maple Avenue
• 438 Pecan Street
• 615 Pecan Street
• 434 Lincoln Street
• 1706 Evans Street
• 1758 Evans Street
• 2205 Seventh Street
• 1606 Reno Street
• 1610 Reno Street
Earlier in Monday’s meeting, Ward 4 Commissioner Ed Seals once again asked for five houses to be cleaned up or demolished on Evans Street. Two of those houses are on the list presented Monday.
In November the Clarksdale Board of Mayor and Commissioners voted to demolish five houses that have been on a list of more than 20 houses set to be renovated by the property owner or torn down by the city.
The city also removed four houses from that list after the owners repaired or cleaned up the property and the city code officer said they were no longer a public health and safety menace to the neighborhood.
The city has a defined process where property owners are notified of the city’s concern and asked to repair, renovate or remove a house that has been deemed a public nuisance. The property owner is given a timeline to meet and failure to improve the property can see the city tear it down, haul off the debris and place a lien on the property for the cost of that work.
In other business:
• At the request of Mayor Chuck Espy the city waived the agenda and allowed Marcello Scott and Teresa Jackson to approach the board with a complaint that a city manhole damaged Jackson’s car in September and she has been unable to drive it since then.
Jackson said she was initially told to contact CPU by the city, but CPU said it was not their manhole. Jackson said she felt the city was negligent in not having the manhole at Pecan and West Second secure,
Commissioner Bo Plunk said he was contacted at the time of the incident and he has been told the covers are supposed to be tack-welded down. Plunk said he felt the city was liable and asked the city attorney to meet with Jackson.
• The board approved minutes of the March 22 meeting.
• The city approved the following appoints: Shirley Hicks to the Clarksdale Public Utilities Board; La Fiesta W. Roland of Ward 4 to the School Board; Re-appointed Rosalyn Griffin as at large member of the Quality of Life Committee; did not fill the at large post on the Planning Commission.
• Marsella Williams, of 1536 Lee Drive, said 18-wheelers on Lee Drive have caused vibrations that have damaged her home. She asked the street be posted as “No 18 wheelers.”
• The city was approached by Dallas Herbert, of Aerus Electrolux, saying he had a product that cleaned the air of COVID-19. The products, depending on size, cost between $2,500 and $6,500.
• Darrell Dixon, of North Delta Planning and Development asked the city for a proclamation declaring month of April as “Fair Housing Month.”
• Commissioners approved the 24th Order extending the emergency declaration for COVID-19, but have not published the order or explained what it asks of the community.
• Commissioner voted to pay Miscellaneous Claims for: Cornerstone $3,375, City of Clarksdale $1,858.09, MS Development Authority $1,858.09, MS Public Entity Workers $9,297, Amanda Dear Jones $1,000, Coahoma County Road $627.00, Chuck Espy $257.60, Walton Const. $24,469.63, Walton Const. $1,050, John Givins $400
• The city paid election officials for the 1st Primary Municipal election.
• Approved officers and civilians as sworn Deputy Court Clerks to take affidavits.
• Approved all unmarked vehicles in the Police Department.
• Authorized City Clerk to prepare a Release of Lis Pendens for 318 N Circle since the invoice has been paid. Lis pendens are like property liens and can make properties unmarketable or non-salable until they're repaired or removed.
• Authorized to reimburse Incidental Expense Account in the amount of $1,130.12 for the month of March and pay March Accounts Payable invoices in the amount of $245,376.27 of which $126,663.81 is General Fund
• Commissioner Plunk requested from his allotted funds permission to hire Jay Butler to cut four trees on city right-of-way in the amount of $3,500 and requested Public Works to remove the trees and debris from the street upon completion of the cut
• The city approved a request from Herbert Miller to have Oakhurst Day on June 12 at Anderson Park.
• Commissioners acknowledged receipt of the Park Commission audit for FY 09-30-2020
• The city acknowledged receipt of a new firetruck and authorize the City Clerk to enter into a lease purchase agreement for the firetruck with Pierce Financial Solutions; annual payments 15 years $50,270.22 a year at 3.50% interest. There was no grant money for this project and a ceremony for the new truck was held earlier that day at Fire Station No. 1.
The city approved the following travel:
• Assistant Police Chiefs Linley and Ramirez to attend the MS Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in Biloxi, on June 15-18.
• Dispatcher Joiner to attend a Terminal Agency Coordinator class in Pearl, on May 10-14,
• Dispatcher Muriel Canada to attend the Basic Communications Course in Batesville, April 19-23.
• Sgt. Raymond Hill and Investigator George Johnson to be sworn under oath for Deputy Municipal Court Clerk for affidavits
• Craig Amerson to attend the solid Waste Management and Recycling Conference in Biloxi, May 25-27.
• The city went into executive session for personnel and legal issues.
• The board of Mayor and Commissioner will meet again at noon, Thursday, April 22.