The city of Perry to fine unkempt, blighted homes

PERRY,  Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The city of Perry says if you have property that’s unkempt — expect a fine.

Leaders passed an ordinance charging property owners $100 per day for the issues.

“If you don’t start going in and addressing it, then it just gets worse like you see at this intersection of the roof line here,” Lee Gilmour, city manager, said referring to a blighted house in the city.

He has his eyes on several properties throughout the city that are fading — quickly.

“It makes a less attractive neighborhood. Second, it affects the property values of the surrounding areas. It also has a tendency to be a gathering place for possible illegal activity like drugs or vandalism,” he said.

Mayor and council approved the ordinance last week.

“It’s not that we’re trying to raise money with this thing, with the fines. But it could be something that would motivate someone to do something sooner rather than later,” Mayor Jimmy Faircloth said.

After the city put of several notices, phone calls, and alerts, Mayor Faircloth says the city is looking for a way to clean up the neighborhoods.

“The whole purpose is to just keep the city clean and the properties looking decent,” he said.

Residents are concerned with how the blighted houses affect their property values.

“It also leaves a bad message about the neighborhood when people are trying to sell their houses. It just makes it look trashy and unsafe,” one resident said.

“We don’t have a lot of these types of properties in town, but every town is going to have some,” Faircloth said.

A problem every town may have, but Gimour says it’s time for a solution.

“If they can’t pay that, then eventually they’ll lose the property through tax sale. The city processes is all liens have to be paid before the taxes are paid,” he said.

Gilmour says the ordinance is already in effect and while there isn’t a list of houses and properties targeted, he expects that to change in the coming months.

Categories: Houston County, Local News

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