City of Memphis planning team to fight blight

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Public Works is planning a new Environmental Enforcement Team to fight blight.

The team to fight blight would be made up of 18 members, and they'll be cracking down on code violations.

It would fine people for everything from littering to illegal dumping.

Hamidullah Adam works hard to keep his lawn nicely manicured, but he said not long ago, the Binghampton neighborhood on Crystal Avenue was filled with blight.

Adam knew he wanted to make a difference.

"I just purchased a property and started building my own," he said.

Adam bought three houses on Crystal Avenue and flipped them.

He said blight is a major problem in Memphis, and that's why he's pleased with the city's new plan to combat the issue.

"Memphis is in transition from old to new," Adam said.

The city's plan wants to reduce everything from littering to illegal dumping, and it will even hit residents with $50 fines for failing to remove empty garbage carts from the curb.

Cooper-Young resident Robert Hatfield said fines are important, especially when it comes to safety issues, but he thinks residents should get some leeway.

"If they're going to start imposing fines, there would be a nice period of time initially where it's a warning, like citations being issued," Hatfield said.

While many have mixed feelings about the plan, Adam said he hopes it's a start to having a cleaner city.

"All the ideas are good if we can initiate and put them into practice," Adam said.

"You need to have strong grassroots efforts in order to combat these type of things," Hatfield said.

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