MAMMOTH SPRING -- The Mammoth Spring City Council addressed the problem of abandoned property in the city at their Oct. 2 city council meeting.
Mayor Jean Pace told the council there are several properties in the city where people no longer live and the property is not being maintained.
Pace said there are nine properties in the city limits that need attention. "Some of the property owners have been notified that their property needs to be cleaned up. All will be sent letters of notification by certified mail," she said.
Pace said the state and a city ordinance define the procedure for condemning property.
She said the first step is to notify the owners of the property that there is a possibility the property may be condemned. The property owners would be given an amount of time, no less than 30 days, to respond to the notice.
"Three different people then have to write a document as to why the property should be condemned," Pace said. She said those involved in this process include the fire chief, a police officer and either a council member or a private citizen.
She said then the ordinance for each property must be passed by the city council and the ordinance has to either be published in the local newspaper or posted.
"Once the ordinance is passed the city can begin to clean up the property. We then put a lein on the property, including the cost of cleaning up the property. We will then begin foreclosure proceedings and the the property will belong to the city," the mayor said.
She said reasons a property might become condemned include that it is unsanitary, it has lost 50 percent of its value, or it is a fire hazard.
The council made no decision to condemn the property.
Pace gave the council an update on grants. She said the city had received a USDA grant in the amount of $12,900 for a police car. She said this is 51 percent of the cost of the car.
She said the city also received a matching grant from the White River Solid Waste Management District for $11,600 for a new city dump truck. She said both vehicles would be purchased through state bids.
She told the council the city had also received a $1,900 grant from the Arkansas Rural Fire Protection Program. Pace said the grant will be used to purchase new radios for the city firetrucks.