Gentry City Council declares property unsafe, a nuisance
GENTRY — City council, on March 5, took the first steps toward nuisance abatement and possible condemnation for a house located at 320 N. Giles in Gentry when it passed a resolution declaring the property a nuisance due to an unsafe and vacant structure on the property.
According to the resolution and a photo provided to members of the council, the structure’s porch overhang has fallen down and the roof is damaged and partially covered with a tarp.
After title work and further attempts to resolve code violations with the landowner, the city may move forward to correct the code violations through repair or demolition, with a lien placed against the property. Should the city move forward, a public hearing would be required and a determination made on the amount of the lien — up to $5,000 to board up and secure a property and up to $7,500 for demolition.
The council also approved a tract split for Larry and Joan Raham, dividing a single tract of land into three tracts. Homes are already located on two of those tracts, according to information supplied to the council.
Kevin Johnston, Gentry’s mayor, told the council the city could have to wait up to six months
for approval of a bridge replacement plan for the Dawn Hill Bridge over Flint Creek which was damaged in floods in April 2017. He said the approval might come sooner but there were no guarantees that would happen.
If approved, the Federal Highway Administration would pay 80 percent of the cost of the bridge replacement.
Johnston said things were moving forward with the preparation of a park master plan. He said the city was set to close on the purchase of 14 1/2 acres of property along the railroad this week. The property was purchased as possible parkland because it connects current city-owned land.
Also, in information reported to the council, both county tax revenue and city sales tax revenue showed a significant increase over the same period during the last two years.
In his state of the city address, Mayor Johnston spoke of the successes the city has had in the past year and during his seven years as mayor. He mentioned park improvements, the new city police station, improved ISO ratings and spoke of the growth which has come and is coming to the city. He said there was much work yet to do, speaking of park plans, preparation to build a new wastewater treatment plant in the future and replacement of the Flint Creek bridge.
To read Johnston’s full state of the city address, visit www.eagleobserver.com.