Memphis files lawsuit against owners of dilapidated properties

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The city of Memphis has filed a lawsuit against three property owners with dilapidated buildings, saying they need to either fix them up or tear them down.

The city has been fighting blight for years, but Monday, Memphis City Council member Harold Collins said it's a new day.

"Today is the day that we, The City of Memphis, say enough is enough," Collins said.

The city put three vacant, dilapidated properties on notice: Winchester Gardens, The Shelby Inn and Hotel and Wooddale Condominiums, three properties in Council member Janis Fullilove's district.

"We're going to begin first in the Whitehaven community and then move all across our city," Fullilove said.

Chief Administrative Officer Jack Sammons said Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery is dedicated to creating a city that's safe, clean and well-maintained.

"A city can't be safe if a city is not clean, and it begins with picking up the smallest cigarette butts all the way to tearing down the dilapidated buildings," Sammons said.

While the District Attorney's office calls vacant buildings crime dens, Fullilove said such properties should be dealt with, one way or another.

"Clean it up," she said. "Make sure it's habitable for individuals to live in it, or tear it down, or you will be sued," she said.

And Council members want you to be part of the solution.

"Let us know where these properties are and we will take action," Collins said.

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