Multiple properties in city listed as dilapidated

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 24, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; The list is three pages long and growing. It&8217;s not exactly kudzu, but the problems it represents are just as prevalent in a city that respects and values its history.

It&8217;s the dilapidated houses list, as maintained by the city of Demopolis. Through a Freedom of Information request filed with the city, The Times has obtained the details about the properties on the list.

Carol Kincaid&8217;s properties at 706 and 708 N. Main Ave. have been on the list for more than two years. The first report dates from March 16, 2006, when Kincaid was given 90 days to remove debris from the property. But the problems with Kincaid&8217;s property continued, with seven more interactions &8212; the last being a letter written from City Attorney Rick Manley June 19.

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Ignoring the city&8217;s demands to bring buildings up to code could result in the city razing the buildings and charging the property owners for the work, Demopolis building official Clarence Brooker said in a previous interview.

But that hasn&8217;t happened yet, and the city council is ready for more action.

Attempts to contact Kincaid were unsuccessful Tuesday.

Thomas and Nannette Mann&8217;s property at &8220;601 or 603 E. Perry St.&8221; has also been listed since March 16, 2006.

A follow-up visit on Feb. 14, 2007 showed progress.

The Mann property remains &8220;in progress&8221; through the most recent inspection, June 19.

Also on the list: 606 Cherry Ave., belonging to Peter Moody and Mary Thompson or Willie Ingram.

The city&8217;s report stated work was delayed due to Ingram&8217;s &8220;personal problems.&8221; As of the most recent inspection, work on the property remains in progress, more than two years after the initial report.

But some people, like Dr. Judy Travis, believe being on the list is a politically motivated act &8212; at least in her case.

When her property at 206 W. Washington St. was damaged by a tornado, she found herself on the dilapidated houses list. The buildings (there are two on the property) may have some historical value.

The city has made six recorded visits to Travis&8217; property since Oct. 6, 2005. As of June 19, the city records work on the property &8220;&8230; at a standstill.&8221;

And Travis said more people should be on the dilapidated properties list.

Other properties are more recent, like Marvin Jenkins&8217; building at 1504 Hwy 80 E. Jenkins was contacted by letter on March 3. Jenkins has apparently abandoned the house; the report states it has been &8220;vacated over six months.&8221;

A little farther down the list, the reader finds that no one &8212; not even city council members &8212; are immune from finding themselves on the list. City council member Charles Jones Sr.&8217;s property at 409 E. Washington Street was added on Feb. 20. Jones followed up by repairing the building. The repairs are in progress as of the last inspection.

Attempts to reach Jones for comment Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Other names and properties on the list: Wausonia Littles, 1201 E. Pettus St., added Jan. 30 2008; Pendleton Robinson, 1814 A St., added May 15 (Robinson is deceased, however, and the city is investigating how to best resolve the issue); Johnnie Mae King, 1108 Roman Dr., added May 15; Hiltrude Webb, 1318 Jefferson Road, added May 15; and Willie Clayton, 408 S. Chestnut, added May 15.

Properties listed without owners: 606 and 608 2nd Ave.; 901 3rd Ave.; 209 N. Cherry Ave.; 507 E. Lyon St.