Macon Council Taking the Fight to Blight

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Updated: Tue, 03 Sep 2013 11:43:07 EST

The Macon City Council unanimously passed three resolutions Tuesday designed to help clean up the city's abandoned homes.

The three resolutions, spearheaded by Ward III alderman Tom Ellington, will allow the city to change policies to encourage the seizure of blighted and abandoned properties, authorize the city to contract with neighborhood groups to clean up properties, and change departmental policies to establish partnerships with local organizations to help remove condemned structures.

"I certainly understand why somebody would want to go on to an adjoining property and clean it up, and hopefully from a legal standpoint, that first piece of legislation we were talking about will make it a little bit easier to do," Ellington said.

For some neighbors living in blighted communities the resolutions come too late. On Northbrook Avenue, neighborhood watch coordinator Annie Cornelius says people on her street have been cleaning up an abandoned property on their own for awhile, but the work is becoming too hard.

"Now it's getting to be too much because the grass is growing so fast because the rain and it's so hot," Cornelius said.

Cornelius says she has contacted every city and county office she can think of but has seen no results. Now with the new ordinances in place, she's hopeful something can be done.

"We're begging and pleading, please help us clean this house up," Cornelius said.

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