Starkville leaders considering demolishing three Brookville Garden apartment buildings to improve safety for residents

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STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) – Saturday night, there was another shooting in the area of Brookville Garden Apartments. The safety of residents in the apartment complex has long been a concern for city leaders.

Now they believe the best course of action is to demolish three of the buildings.

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“The roofs are in disrepair, there’s mold in the buildings,” said Mayor Lynn Spruill. “The second floor, in particular, you are in danger of falling through. It is just in a total state of disrepair.”

Those are the conditions Mayor Lynn Spruill says some residents have to live within the Brookville Garden Apartment complex, calling them hazardous and a public nuisance.

“It is an area that is not conducive to safe living, and we want all of our residents to have areas that are comfortable and safe and home to them,” she said. “And this particular set of buildings or this particular area has been an area of neglect by the property owners.”

The mayor says they first reached out to the absentee landlord back in March about bringing the buildings up to code but nothing was done.

“We are at a point now where we believe demolition is the appropriate action to be taken by the city,” she said.

Buildings 4, 5 and 8 are the ones the city is looking to demolish. The city’s board of Alderman will be meeting Tuesday evening to call for a public hearing.

“We intend to do our best to encourage them to keep the remainder of the buildings up and to pay attention to their residents and the needs of the residents and the safety of the area,” Mayor Spruill said.

The mayor believes those poor living conditions have contributed to the rise in crime in the area, which has led to increased police presence.

“We are dedicated to removing that element of the community that finds it a safe haven for them to behave in a way that requires our police presence and endangers the residents in that area,” she said.

The public hearing will be held in May, where the mayor says the board will see adequate pictures and documentation showing the need to demolish the three buildings.

“Going in and taking someone’s property, let alone, demolishing it, exercising control over it, is an extreme response,” she says. “But we’re responding to extreme circumstances.”

WCBI went to the main office of the Brookville Apartment complex but the manager said they had no comment. The mayor says the owner’s attorney has been in contact with the city attorney.