Mayor Sandy Stimpson’s initiative to eradicate blight throughout the city was bolstered by the Mobile City Council Tuesday, when it agreed to declare 18 different properties blighted and ordered they either be repaired or demolished. Some owners of the properties on the list requested the city give them more time to fix the problems.
Sandra McGadney also requested more time to figure out what to do with property she owns at 211 Durant St., where a house was damaged by a fire a few years ago. She told councilors she simply doesn’t have the finances to remedy the problem.
If the city demolishes the structure, in a case like this, the deeded property owner will be charged for the work.
Gail Grant, owner of 1270 Chinquapin St., also asked councilors for more time to make repairs.
“We would like to repair it,” he said. “We feel the roof is still good.”
Grant said he currently lives in California but will be moving back to Mobile in July to address issues with family property. He said his family owns five or six properties in the Campground area. When asked, he told councilors some of the properties are currently vacant.
“It hasn’t been easy,” he said. “I’ve been trying to get help through HUD. I would like to fix up the properties.”
Shelia Todd, deeded owner of 1709 Morengo St., told councilors she would like her property torn down, but feels the mortgage company should be held responsible.
She said she lived there most of her life, but was forced to move when she couldn’t pay her mortgage. She said the mortgage company wouldn’t foreclose on the house and it’s been in limbo ever since.
Despite the home being described by Deputy Director of Property Maintenance David Daughenbaugh as having broken windows and doors, Todd said she once lived there when it was in the same condition it is now.
The 18 structures are part of a larger effort by the Stimpson administration to address the 3,000 to 5,000 blighted properties currently in the city. Stimpson told councilors that his office developed a blight task force more than a year ago to combat what he called a “cancer.”
“It’s time to put it in remission and cure the patient,” he said.
In other business, the council approved the rezoning of property on Old Shell Road to allow for a shopping center and hotel where The Shed used to be.
Next week’s council meeting on Tuesday, May 26, will be held at 6 p.m. at Davidson High School. The pre-council meeting will be held at 10:30 a.m. at Government Plaza.