Caresse Jackman

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Video: Aberdeen Enforces New Building Codes

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ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI)- James Ransom remembers when this house on short street was one of the nicer ones in the neighborhood. Now, it’s just an eyesore and he says he can’t stand walking by.

“It’s a shame! I just look straight forward! Don’t look at it! The windows are broken, people started vandalizing and stuff like that. Aberdeen is a nice town to live in but you know, when you’ve got places like this and when you try to attract businesses and stuff, they’re going to be looking at stuff like this and they’re not going to like that,” said Ransom.

That’s exactly why the city’s now enforcing new building codes for property owners.

” One code that we adopted off the 2012 set is the property maintenance code. Property maintenance code deals with your yard, your home, your structure and just being a nuisance. Before there was no way to determine what was unsightly. If the grass grows over 10 to 12 inches, I can now go out there, take a measuring tape and take a picture for proof of the height of the grass,” said David Low, Building Inspector for the city of Aberdeen.

The town adopted the codes last August. Inspectors are now scouting out properties and informing homeowners if they’ve received a complaint.

“First will be a verbal warning then a written warning. Then I’ll go out there and give you another written warning. But I would give you the proper amount of time to clean it up, depending on the violation,” said Low.

Business owner James Terry thinks it can do wonders for the city.

“In the past, we’ve had a lot of people leave because of the current situations of what the town looks like. I believe we should strengthen it up, clean it up and bring some new business in,” said Terry.

” If it was a population of 2 million people, you’ve got a lot to absorb it. But, the population of Aberdeen is a little over 5,000. It’s a small town that really can’t absorb the loss of value of the property here,” said Low.

The “shape up” is something James looks forward to, but he wants property owners to do their part, long before the city comes knocking on their door.

“The city’s got their hands full with houses like this, all they can do is keep their property up. Make theirs look good,” said Ransom.

After verbal and written warnings, inspectors will turn violators over to the city attorney. If property owner continues to ignore the warning, they could face fines.