BELLE — Belle resident Delmar Branson addressed the Belle Board of Aldermen on Sept. 12 regarding nuisance ordinances, and asked the board to consider fining landlords for the condition of …
BELLE — Belle resident Delmar Branson addressed the Belle Board of Aldermen on Sept. 12 regarding nuisance ordinances, and asked the board to consider fining landlords for the condition of their rental properties.
“They are with the lawyer right now,” said Mayor Daryl White, Jr. When asked, White said they are hoping to get a response by the end of the month.
Branson said his peeve is 312 Apple Street, and asked the board if they had a chance to drive by. Both White and Alderman Barb Howarth said yes, they did.
“I spoke with the landlord, too,” White said.
“The suggestion I would like to make to the council is we know the most undesirable homes and rental properties in this town are owned by one individual, and that is a given,” Branson said. “We also know that person is only interested in the monthly rent. It is pretty obvious from the condition he keeps his property in. I don’t think he has any civic pride. I don’t think he really cares what happens in Belle. I think he is interested in the greenbacks he gets from that. But it also appears to me that he doesn’t have any obligation to force his renters to do anything about it. We had a conversation at 312 Apple and he said ‘When those people move out, I may consider filling up a hole that has stagnated water in it, but at this point, he is not planning on doing anything with it.”
Branson said that wasn’t right.
“We sit here and talk about how we want to make Belle a better place to live, but yet we let these kind of guys control the situation,” Branson said. “I would like to see, instead of going to the renter, the nuisance violation go directly to the landlord. Have him stand up in city court and pay the fines. If you start getting into their pocketbook, maybe we will get some changes. I would like to think that maybe then he would have a reason to start maintaining his own property properly, that meets the standards the rest of the neighbors have.”
Branson said he would thing the rest of the council “would have enough intestinal fortitude to make one person make the rest of the town look better.” He hopes the board will take that approach and complimented Marshal Jerry Coborn’s efforts to clean up the town.
“I think he has done a good job trying to clean up the town,” Branson said of Coborn. “But I think some of these renters at 312 Apple, they could care less about what the city has to say or what they think. Give (Coborn) the tools to do his job and do it correctly.”
White said they have contacted tenants and then the notice goes to the landlord.
“We have a couple of landlords that have to appear this month,” White said.
Branson said the man making the money should be the man that has to stand before the judge. He thanked Coborn and said he thinks the town will improve.
At the close of the meeting, the board passed Ordinance 624 to revise Section 110:170 Regular Meetings of the Belle City Code. According to the new ordinance, the Board of Aldermen will meet every second Wednesday of the month.
The Bransons, who are in attendance monthly, were the only ones present to protest the move, based on the fact that the meetings will overlap church prayer groups in town.
The next regular meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 11 at the Lonnie Feeler Memorial Building.