Linden making progress on abandoned houses and vehicles

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Like many other cities in the Black Belt abandoned houses and vehicles are a growing problem in Linden. Cities such as Eutaw and York have battled these problems constantly and have made some progress. Linden has also seen success in removing these eyesores.

City Administrator Cheryl Hall said she and City Attorney Woodie Dinning have complied a complete list of unsightly buildings to be dealt with.

“Woodie and I met on the abandoned houses Tuesday and I gave him a list of 27 more homes,” Hall said. “We are trying to make contact with them.”

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The next step will be to send the owners letters. Hall said this has been a successful practice to this point as several have responded resulting in favorable solutions for the city.

“For those who are being sent letters, we asked them to be at the next council meeting on

May 17,” Hall said. “I am proud to say that we have taken care of 22 of them. Twenty-three is going down Thursday night. They are going to burn another one out on Highway 43.”

Unfortunately, many of the owners no longer live in the area or the region. Hall said this could make the process very complicated.

“It has been difficult to find most of these people,” Hall said. “Most of them have been out of town and there is one piece of property where the owners live in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.”

The city plans to continue to seek solutions to the abandoned house problem.

As for abandoned cars, weather has been a crippling factor in their recovery. Linden Police Chief Jeff Laduron said wet conditions have made it difficult to remove vehicles from their locations.

“We went around and put tags on them because we have to notify them,” Laduron said. “We were going to tow them and hold them, but it has been so muddy that we couldn’t get in there to get them. We get there in the back yard, but we can’t get to them because we would get stuck.”

In other business, the council acknowledged two additions to a city committee and a departure from the council. The council approved the Linden Industrial Boards appointments of Scott Collier and Chip Vice while they sadly announced the departure of Councilmember Ivan Allday. Allday had served as District Five Councilman as well as mayor pro tiem during the absence of Mayor Pat Vice. The council will search for a replacement to fill Allday’s seat. Alvin “Butch” Davis has been named to replace Allday as mayor pro tiem.