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Georgiana council targets decrepit buildings

A discussion on the continuing frustration over property owners failing to clean up and repair buildings and lots in derelict states was a highlight of this month’s Georgiana City Council meeting.

While not on the official agenda, the subject was brought up by council member Lisa Lowe, who expressed interest in learning whether any progress had been made in the matter of the eyesore structures.

Mayor Mike Middleton said letters had been sent to several property owners.

“I have spoken with others about their properties, and we are about to send letters to them, too.”

Property owners are allowed 30 days to respond with their plans after the receipt of a certified letter from the City requesting clean up of the property.

Additional time must be allowed for the owner to bring the property into compliance with City codes.

“I realize we have to keep within the law, but people are still asking, ‘When will it get done?’ I had so many, many people who were in and out for the Hank Williams Festival, say, ‘Wow, structurally, Georgiana is in a mess.’”

Council member Byron Ward said he had also had citizens in his district asking for answers concerning the eyesore properties.

Middleton agreed with Lowe’s request to have a regular update on the property situation included in the minutes of the monthly meetings.

In other council business:

– Approval of the designated family members to be included in the Bereavement Pay Plan for city employees.

– Approval of the following appointments and reappointments to several municipal boards: Tammy Campbell, Zoning Board; John Hollis, Medical Clinic Board; Margaret Gaston, Industrial Development and Joan Whittle and James M. McNeil, Housing Authority.

– Approval of Resolution 2009-07 for a sidewalk addition from Highway 106 to the new school, to be paid for through grant monies.

– Approval to continue providing OCAP with office space and payment of utilities in lieu of their requested $3,000 donation for FY 2010.

– Approval to amendment of Mobile Home Ordinance 2009-03, requiring any additions to existing mobile homes to meet city and state codes, effective immediately.