Trumann City Council discusses condemned houses

Monday, January 14, 2013

At the first Trumann City Council meeting of 2013, the council was presented with a discussion of a house located at 513 W. Speedway owned by James Reeves. Reeves had received a notice of consideration for condemnation from Gary Anderson, city building inspector/code enforcement officer. Upon presenting the item on the agenda, Anderson introduced Reeves to the council.

Reeves then gave members of the council several different pictures of houses around Trumann that he saw fit to condemn. He mentioned some of the houses had already been brought forth before the council for condemnation consideration.

"I appreciate you showing us these other ones, but the item we are discussing tonight is your property," said Mayor Shelia Walters in response the Reeves' action. Walters mentioned that a few months ago, the council had a very intense discussion on the subject of houses in the city that were not meeting the necessary code requirements. As a result of this discussion, the council is now presented every month with a new property not up to code by Anderson. "Gary and I do not condemn," said Mayor Walters. "The council makes that decision."

Reeves responded by saying the roof on the house does not leak and he keeps the yard mowed; and he saw no reason for the house to be condemned. "It looks like the house needs some work done on it," said Alderman James Baker. Reeves admitted he had used the house for storage for about 20 years. Alderman Mike Sullivan asked Reeves if he would mind at least painting the house in question.

"If we are looking just to paint houses, there are about 200 houses in this town that need painted," said Reeves. "If we are going to condemn one for not being painted, let's go for all 200 of them." Sullivan said he sees no reason for it to be condemned, only wishes it is brought up to code.

"We are trying to do all we can about the houses," said Alderman Rick Atkins. He said the council is unable to deal with all of the houses due to various difficult situations. "If you do something to me, you should be able to do something to everybody," said Reeves. "That's prejudice to me."

The council agreed to give Reeves until the end of June to paint the house and bring it up to code.

In other business, the council:

*members approved to name the road leading to the Trumann firing range Hero's Drive. Mayor Walters made the suggestion for the newly paved road stating someone had given her the original idea. "I would like to do this in honor of our fallen employees," said Mayor Walters while asking the council for the approval of the name. The council accepted the motion for the name.

*heard from Mayor Walters about signing a contract for the Trumann Industrial Development Committee to purchase a $150,000 piece of property in Industrial Park owned by Regions Bank. The council requested more information on the purchase, and postponed an action on the issue until later in the week.

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