News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, July 18, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Willie Mae Williams is upset about her next-door neighbor's property.
"It's just a disgrace, and I wish the city or county or somebody would just do something about it," Williams said. "I should not have to live with all this next to me."
Glasper Nero lives on the other side of the overgrown property at 526 Rachel Street in east Augusta.
"Any man should not be allowed to leave his garbage in another's neighborhood," Nero said.
He says the property has been neglected for many years.
"At least you can come back and cut the grass," Williams said.
Both Nero and Williams say every now and then, someone used to come and perform upkeep, like cutting the grass.
News 12 investigated and discovered the owner of the property owes back taxes totaling $145. According to tax records, the past due balance was due in November 2012.
News 12 asked Shawn Rhodes with code enforcement about the city's moth ball ordinance.
"I do believe we have had this property cut by the city several times, so there would indeed be some liens on the property," Rhodes said.
News 12 asked Rhodes if the moth ball ordinance could be a loophole to allow property owners more time to do nothing with dilapidated properties.
"Unfortunately, it's an opportunity for some people to take advantage," Rhodes said.
Officials say a dozen cases involving the property have been documented since 2006. Rhodes says the owner has until spring to take action.
"If we approach him in a year and he doesn't have a good plan for the second year, than it's straight to court," Rhodes said.
Meanwhile, Nero says people should take pride in their properties.
"I believe in the American way that a person should own a place, but with that comes responsibility," Nero said.