Friday, December 30, 2016

Failure To Correct Sewage Overflow In Residential Complex Leads To Condemnation Affecting 16 Rental Apartments; Tenants Get 60 Days Notice To Pack Their Bags & Leave While Landlord To Get Add'l 4 Months To Address Issues Or Likely Face Wrecking Ball

In Starkville, Mississippi, The Dispatch reports:
  • The Starkville Board of Aldermen voted [] to condemn the Camelot Apartments complex.

    City officials have conducted inspections of the complex, which suffers from sewage overflow issues, as well as an abundance of criminal activity and trash on apartment grounds, since August. The complex is located at 1040 N. Montgomery St.

    Aldermen approved a recommendation from Community Development Director Buddy Sanders to allow tenants 60 days to move out of the condemned property. On the 61st day, the city will terminate electric and water service to the complex.

    The city's resolution only applies to three of the four parcels owned by Camelot Court, LLC. Four of six total buildings are located on those parcels. The resolution does not affect the other two.

    Sanders said he was unsure how many residents the resolution would put out of their home. The measure affects 16 units, some of which are vacant.

    The property owners will have four months to fix the issues plaguing the buildings, or the city will take action, likely by demolishing the apartments.
    ***
    Sanders said Starkville Utilities Department filed a sewage overflow complaint on Aug. 8. An investigation found sewage draining into a local ditch and a great deal of trash around the facility.

    A subsequent inspection on Aug. 18 found the issue had not been fixed.

    An Oct. 26 inspection found that the owner attempted to fix the problem but may have made it worse. "While the property owner had placed a cap on the sewer opening that was causing the problem, it forced the sewer water to come out at other areas of the property," Sanders said.

    On Oct. 31, the cap on the sewage line had been removed. Sanders said water samples were taken, and "the fecal count was so high it could not be registered."

    Sanders pointed out since multiple units are unoccupied, it draws a high level of criminal activity to the complex. As of Tuesday morning, no improvements had been made to the property.

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