DeSoto County officials consider ways to combat blight

By Chip Washington - bio | email

EUDORA, MS (WMC-TV) - An abandoned property in DeSoto County is forcing local officials to consider ways to combat blight.

The property in question is a home in the Woodland Lake subdivision, located off Highway 304 in Eudora, Mississippi.  After it was damaged by a fire in 2007, the home been empty, and little care or attention has been given to the surrounding property.

"We do have an isolated situation, but that doesn't delete the significance of the situation," Garriga said. "We want to address it as best we can and try to mediate it, mitigate it, and get the matter resolved."

Officials say the home is a problem that should be rectified.  The question, according to Garriga, is not whether or not to tear the home down, but the legal red tape and the cost to do it.

"If we do meet those legal parameters and stay within them, finding a solution to mitigate this thing, then you've got a matter of financing," Garriga said.

The estimated cost for demolition and cleanup is $25,000 dollars.  According to Billy Lacey of the Eudora Volunteer Fire Department, the home is a health and safety issue.

"It concerns me," Lacey said. "We have firefighters, if that thing rekindles, that we have to send in there. With the health hazards, it's just dangerous."

Garriga says a blight ordinance could be an effective tool to combat problems like the one the home poses.

"It may be good to have a policy in place that when these situations arise, it gives the board an opportunity to act," he said.

The owner of the property disappeared years ago and no one will take responsibility for the property or the cost.

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