Trash still a problem in East Brewton

Published 4:55 pm Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Citizens concerned about the condition of property and homes in their neighborhoods grew Monday with more issues put before the East Brewton City Council for consideration.

Alice Rider, a resident of Mayo Street, said she was following up on a previous complaint about trash and homes in various states of disrepair along the street.

“How many of you have been down the street to see what’s going on?” Rider asked the council. “We are concerned about the whole city, not just our street.”

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Mayor Terry Clark, Councilmen Bob Arrant and Ludon Simmons all said they had made trips around the city to see about the concerns citizens had.

“I know that y’all do have a problem,” Clark said. “I’m checking to see about things and seeing what we can do. Lawton (Shipp) is checking on things and seeing what we can do under the law. We’re working on it and will handle things as we can using the laws we have to go by. We’re going to do what we can to fix these issues.”

Henry Hooks, a resident of Mayo Street, also addressed the council about the condition of several homes in the neighborhood to add to the complaints of trash and garbage on several pieces of property along the street.

“Some of these houses are not fitting to live in,” Hooks said. “Can’t we just not turn on the water and keep people from living in those conditions?”

Clark said if an inspection shows that plumbing and electrical systems in a residence are adequate, refusal of water service is not an option for the city.

“We can’t deny water service to someone just because the outside of the house needs painting,” Clark said. “ There are laws and guidelines that we have to go by and that’s how we will work on these situations — by the law.”

City Compliance Officer Lawton Shipp said there are laws on the books that require a city to conduct business in a specific way in such cases as presented by the residents.

“There is an Alabama Tennant Law that everyone has to abide,” Shipp said. “If people have issues in houses they rent that the landlord won’t fix, they can call me and we can do something about it and look into the situation.”

Liz Bradley, a resident of Horton Subdivision, was among a group of neighborhood residents on hand at Monday’s meeting to offer support for residents of Mayo Street and the entire city.

“We want to get East Brewton back to a place that we can be proud of again,” Bradley said. “This isn’t just about our neighborhood — we want to work together for East Brewton. We care and we want to help. If there’s anything we can do to assist you, call on us.”

Bernie Raines, a resident in Horton Subdivision and a former East Brewton mayor, said he was looking for some changes and was ready to offer assistance as well.

“It’s been 21 years since I appeared here,” Raines said. “The time I was in office here we tried to clean up then and had nothing but opposition. We are here ready to assist you in getting East Brewton cleaned up. The people are ready to help and ready to work.”

A suggestion was made that city officials consider forming a committee to study and work toward beautifying the city.

“We haven’t considered that before,” Clark said. “That’s a good idea and we will look into and see what we can do.”