COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)-Dilapidated homes have become a familiar sight all across Columbus’ north side.
A lot of that is due to an EF-3 tornado that ripped through the city back in February.
Now the city is looking to clean up those damaged properties.
“It’s an eyesore to the community,” said Tomarris Jones, Code Enforcement Officer for the city of Columbus.
According to Jones, some of the homes are deemed unfit for human occupancy, and creates a potential health hazard.
“You got kids playing in the neighborhood and there’s the potential that they can go into the houses and harm themselves, and it’s also a fire hazard,” said Jones.
So to help clean up the area, the city of Columbus is asking property owners to step up to the plate.
Property owners whose homes are dilapidated and can’t be salvaged have three options.
They can either repair the damaged structure, demolish the structure themselves, or have the city come in and demolish it for a fee.
Homeowners have until the first of July to make a decision and notify the city of that decision.
After that, they will have 45 days to start rebuilding on their home or have it demolished.
“We’re probably going to check in on those weekly just to see what type of progress that they are making,” said Jones. “If they haven’t made any progress within those 45 days then we are going to go ahead and proceed with the abatement process.”
Jones said he understands some homeowners may be faced with financial problems.
However, he said the city is committed to working with all homeowners anyway they can to get the city back to how it was prior to the storm.
“We’re looking to get it cleaned up as fast as we can,” Jones expressed. “We know this is not an overnight process.”
If you received a notice, it must be mailed or taken in person to the building inspection office.
Just visit https://www.thecityofcolumbusms.org/government/city-officials/tomarris-jones-director-of-code-enforcement for more information.