City leaders are considering what to do about a nuisance property in the “tree streets” area that is being described as a place of drug activity.

Earlier this month, the Board of Aldermen voted to adjudicate the residence at 1208 Pine Road, and it was a topic of discussion in Tuesday’s meeting.

Ward 2 Alderman Ben Albarracin said it is an ongoing problem with squatters and drug activity present.

“The police have been there probably 20 times in the last month,” he said.

On one visit by the Corinth Police Department, “There were 15 in the house,” said Chief Ralph Dance. “We arrested five the first time we were there.”

During the owner’s absence, the department made daily visits and removed people from the residence. As many as 10 were charged with trespassing.

Officers found used needles throughout the house, the chief said, as well as a suspicious number of cell phones and tablet computers.

The condition of the house is also a concern. Dance described it as “almost totally destroyed.”

“The place is almost unlivable right now,” he said.

The last time he was in the house, 6 to 8 inches of water stood in the basement, said Dance.

Code Enforcement Officer Kim Ratliff had been moving toward getting the property boarded up before learning that it is occupied again by the owner.

Albarracin asked the city attorney to report back on options available to the board.

In other property cleanup matters, the board dismissed action against the Corinth Inn and Suites on Highway 72. Ratliff said the owners have made progress with improvements and police calls have decreased.

The board also dismissed action on the property at the corner of South Harper Road and Liddon Lake Road, where the house on the commercial property is in the process of being demolished, and 1601 and 1603 Gaines Road.

The board scheduled a public hearing for the April 6 meeting regarding property at 1540 Tate Street.

Ratliff said more than 20 property cleanup issues are going to be handled through the municipal court rather than coming before the board, and notices are going out to those property owners. A number of these are issues in the South Corinth area.

Ratliff is hopeful that three residential demolitions will be complete by the end of the week, weather permitting. Two are being handled by the property owners.

He is also asking the board to proceed with updating the ordinance regulating junk cars to mirror what is proposed in the Envision 2040 code rewrite. It will give the ordinance more teeth and remove outdated references to inspection stickers, he said.

In other business, the board accepted a bid from Buddy Ayers at $14,290 to place a temporary detour road in Beauregard Park during an upcoming bridge project.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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