As I've often said, I can't write about all the problem spots people contact me about. But as a rule, when a complaint includes a reference to a dead body, I look into it. I'm old school like that.
Concerned Daughter Pam Woodard wrote to complain about several lots near her parents' home on Cooper Creek Road.
"The corner house at Cooper Creek Road and Veterans Parkway and the first three vacant lots on the right side of Cooper Creek Road are in dire need of inspection," she wrote. "A few years back, I had to intervene about houses that were condemned and on these same lots. It was not until a dead body was actually found in one of the houses that we felt we received any attention from the city."
She added that her parents have seen more snakes on their property and sometimes intoxicated people coming over from the bar across the street.
I can't help you with the drunks, Pam, but I do have some good news for you (and, alas, some bad). The properties have, in fact, gotten the city's attention and the municipal wheels are grinding away.
I talked to Drale Short, Special Enforcement manager for the city, and reported the properties. As it turns out, one of the four properties (the one on the corner) was inspected and found to be in violation, so the city sent the usual certified letter informing the owner that he or she had better get their act together. The paperwork for that address has been processed and the work will be contracted out, Short reported.
As for the vacant lots, one of them was found to be in violation, so the process of notifying the owners, then clearing it off if the owner won't, has started. It won't happen overnight, but remember, the government can't just bust onto your property and start chopping things up without going through a legal process.
The bad news? Two of the lots Pam complained about are not within 100 yards of another residence, so they are violating no city codes.
Last week I unfairly suggested that the Water Works might be responsible for three trees being knocked down just off the Sewage Treatment Plant Road off South Lumpkin Road. I got a note from John Peebles, senior vice president for Water Resource Operations setting me straight:
"Regarding the three large trees that you mentioned were down near the entrance to our South Columbus Water Resource Facility, this is part of the city's Oakland Park storm-water project. (Not a Water Work's project.)," he wrote.
Thanks, John. Sorry about pinning the arborcide on y'all.
Seen something that needs attention? Contact me at 706-571-8571 or firstname.lastname@example.org