Citizen’s Task Force holds third meeting

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 13, 2005

When Demopolis Mayor Cecil P. Williamson and the rest of the city council took office they all unanimously agreed a citywide cleanup effort was needed. From this need a Citizen’s Task Force was created to blanket Demopolis and identify problem areas.

Since first coming together the Task Force has done just that. In their third meeting Thursday morning at City Hall the group identified several problem areas and prepared to take action. Co-Chairman of the Task Force Claude Neilson said the first two meetings were a chance for the group to get together on what they needed to do.

“The first meeting was an organizational meeting,” Neilson said. “The second meeting they had seven property owners and we are going to send letters to the property owners.”

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In the third meeting the specific properties were set to a vote on whether action should be taken. Those that were voted in favor of will soon be contacted and have an opportunity to settle the issue.

“I’ll identify the names of the true owners,” Neilson said. “I’ll go to Linden and look up who the true property owners are and we will send them a letter.”

The initial contact from the Task Force will be a simple letter asking the owners to resolve the situation. Because many property owners may be out of town, they are not always aware of the problem. The letter allows them a period of 30 days to make contact with the city before action is taken.

Neilson said the purpose of the committee was to help keep Demopolis beautiful and not to single out individuals.

“The city council passed an ordinance that created this committee,” Neilson said. “The committee’s purpose was to try to get the city of Demopolis cleaned up.”

Because Demopolis covers a wide area the members are simply asked to present problems they observe in their travels, present pictures as visual aids and try to come up with a helpful solution. Neilson said they would always try to make contact before taking action.

“Our purpose is to identify the properties that are in pretty bad shape, contact the owners and ask them to voluntarily take action,” Neilson said. “If they don’t we refer it tot he city council and the city attorney and they take the appropriate legal action to solve the problem. We are trying to identify the areas that are worst and take action to go ahead and get the owners to go ahead and voluntarily go forward.”

Anyone receiving a letter is asked to make contact with the city as soon as possible to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.