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[bitsontherun J5O0FFFa]MACON, Miss. (WCBI)-While smaller cities in our viewing area find cleaning up overgrown lots and dilapidated houses a challenge,  the city of Columbus has taken huge strides aimed at cleaning up their image.

Macon is one of the smaller cities where its been an ongoing battle as well.

Like other cities in North Mississippi, abandoned houses can be seen on many streets in several wards in Macon.

When we last spoke with the city of Macon’s Street Commissioner Willie Dixon Junior in 2012, an apparent successful campaign was launched at getting rid of junk cars.

That has discontinued, the latest focus targets residential eyes sores.

“We have a lot of abandoned houses in the city but, now, what it is now, we have a lot of people complaining about a lot of abandoned houses, but we can’t do anything right now,” said Dixon.

And that has some residents frustrated.

For instance the property owner of a well kept piece of real estate on North Street, living next to what many are calling an ugly dump.

City managers tell us, they are going by the books when it comes to property clean up.

“We have to really go through the proper channels to do it. Go through the paper work and get it done.And once we, once our attorney gets everything set up, so we can do something about it. We’ll notify the, as a matter of fact we will notify the person that owns the property before we go through the channels,” said Dixon.

The latest approach includes sending out letters to delinquent owners of those eyesores.

According to city leaders, they have been working on the problem that is not as bad as it was before.

“Nine times out of ten they’ll respond but if they don’t we’ll go clean it up and put it on their taxes. Now we can’t do that. We just got to let them know that the property got to be cleaned up and they can get a private contractor to come in and do it themselves,” said Dixon.

Cities with successful beautification and clean up efforts, use that as a tool for wooing business their way.


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