The Pulaski Board of Mayor and Aldermen is considering a change to its ordinance for unsafe, dilapidated houses.
City attorney Andy Hoover informed the city council during its work session April 5 that its current ordinance may be “overcomplicating” the process.
“We have to come in and show cause to a chancellor as to why it should be torn down,” Hoover said. “The chancellor has to give them an appropriate amount of time to do something and come up with a plan.
“If they can’t come up with that plan, we have to go back and serve everyone who has an interest in the property,” Hoover added, noting that could be anyone such as grandchildren of a grandparent who have never been involved.
Hoover said after speaking with the Municipal Technical Assistance Service (MTAS), potential issues with the current policy were flagged. Hoover added that there is a state law that would streamline the process, which includes the designation of a public officer, either from the department of safety or the building department, who will inspect the property and go to court.
After the property is investigated, a complaint would be filed and it would be posted that the property is unfit for human occupancy or use. After which, all interested parties will be given a 30-day notice.
“We are reacting to complaints of the community,” City Administrator Terry Harrison said.
Alderman Hardin Franklin suggested implementing a community-wide program to help address some of these issues and initiate some incentive.
“When it is all said and done, the town is better because of it,” Franklin said, adding that other projects such as sidewalks and lighting improvements are collectively making the town look better.
“So when people drive into town, they see Pulaski is doing all they can to make this a place that you want to come and live and grow your family,” Franklin insisted.
Mayor Pat Ford requested Hoover bring options of ordinances for them to consider to the next work session, April 19.
In other business, the board:
• Heard UT Southern has requested the Independence Day event be changed to Thursday, July 1 when the merger between UT and Martin Methodist College becomes official so one celebration can prelude to the other.
• Heard since the bids for the moving of the gas and sewer lines that the state had previously buried came in too high, TDOT is increasing the amount they were giving the city to do the work to match the bid price.
• Heard the demolition landfill detention pond needs to be cleaned out per request of the state. Harrison said it has been suggested to bid the work.
The city council will next meet for a work session at 4:30 p.m. Monday, April 19, at City Hall.