Council targets problem area

Published 2:41 pm Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The City of Greenville is hoping to clear up a problem area by purchasing parcel of land near along East Commerce Street and Walnut Street.

The Greenville City Council recently approved the purchase of the land and six houses for $32,000. The city will pay Gertrude P. Fails and John H. Fails $32,000 for the property, listed as 912 East Commerce St. The property is located across the street from Dollar General.

Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon said the city plans to tear down the six houses, three of which are vacant, in hopes of putting a stop to what he described as “illegal activity.”

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“It’s a similar situation to what we had on Milner Street,” McLendon said. “When we were looking at that property, I checked our 911 calls, and we had 60 calls to that area in one month. Now, we don’t have any problems on Milner Street. We’re hoping for a similar result with this property. I’ve talked to (Chief) Lonzo (Ingram) and some of our police officers, and they felt like this would help.”

McLendon said that the property had also become somewhat of a health hazard with garbage piling up, even at the three houses that are vacant.

“They block the road and the garbage trucks can’t get there to collect the trash,” he said. “It’s really a mess. I don’t know any other way to say it than it’s just nasty. We need to get it cleaned up.”

McLendon said the plan for now is to remove the houses and plant grass on the lot, which is now mostly just dirt.

He said the residence of the three occupied houses will be given 60-90 days following the closing of the sale to vacate the houses.

“We’ll give them plenty of time,” he said.

The city will eventually divide the lots and sell them.

“We think we can get eight lots out of it, and have a place where a developer can come in and build some nice houses and really help improve that area of the city,” McLendon said. “The biggest thing though is that we need to clean up that area of town. We’re having too many police and paramedic calls to that area. We’re going to clear that up.”