Binghampton neighbors stand up to blight

Man fights against blight in Binghampton
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A Binghampton man is taking the fight to save his neighborhood into his own hands.

"That property has been open to the elements; it looks like the house on a haunted movie or something, and it's been sitting like that for a year," Juan Salter said.

Salter is fed up with the blight on his street, so he filed a complaint with the city's 311 hotline.

"I guess I put it under overgrown weeds, so they closed the case and said 'We drove by and there were no overgrown weeds.' I was like, if you look at the place, give me some break here," Salter said.

He said several properties on Forrest Avenue, just a few blocks away from the Broad Avenue Arts District, are out of control.  Doors are wide open, trash is everywhere and neighbors believe the worst part is that all that blight attracts crime and drug activity.

"When you see stuff like this back here, it kind of gives you a bad taste in your mouth," Marquella Scott said. "You don't know if someone is doing criminal activity to just stay up in there and do whatever."

According to the county assessors website, the property at 2424 Forrest was bought in 2005. Neighbors say nobody has lived there for several years.

Robert and Diane Payne bought the house across the street in 1993. Since then, they've watched the house across the street crack, crumble, and deteriorate.

"We want it fixed. We pay taxes. We vote. we deserve more than this," The Paynes said.

Salter took to the internet to show the world the problem Binghampton residents are dealing with.

He hopes his video will get Mayor Strickland's attention and someone will find a solution.

"I think either it needs to be torn down or I would like to see it renovated and let somebody live in it that would like to pay bills and obey the law. That simple."

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