ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - There is no ordinance in Dougherty County that ensures household items are picked up after an eviction.
County Attorney Spencer Lee was the one who told commissioners there are no rules regulating how and when belongings are picked up after an eviction notice is served.
This means household items, furniture, clothing and everything else normally in a house, makes its way to the front lawn, creating a beautification and a health issue in neighborhoods.
“Snakes....rodents...and roaches,” said Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful Executive Director, Judy Bowles.
Dougherty County leaders are saying “oh my” to this reoccurring problem. The issue at hand: belongings abandoned on curb sides after people are served with eviction notices.
“Those areas are not only unsightly, but they’re unhealthy. They have children and neighbors going through them,” Bowles said.
When a renter or homeowner is evicted from their house for not making payments, or whatever the case may be, their belongings are just tossed to the yard and the street.
And as a surprise to county commissioners, there is no ordinance or law stopping this in the unincorporated areas.
“They don’t believe it until it happens, most of them don’t. So what we need to do is be kind of lenient with that person because for some reason he couldn’t pay his rent,” said County Commissioner, Anthony Jones.
The City of Albany does have an ordinance for items tossed out during the eviction process. Requiring the person living in the home either takes their stuff with them or the landlord can get rid of it.
“Or if that doesn’t happen then we require you have some sort of container to put it in so it’s not strewn over the neighborhood,” said Bowles.
If that’s the case, the landlord would have two days from getting the notice to move the container. And without an ordinance, Bowles said the issue will just keep happening.
“But one is too many.”
All of the commissioners seemed to agree they should adopt an ordinance to regulate evictions.
They’ll discuss adopting the one the city uses.
More from county commissioners:
There is an update to the $2 million Radium Springs repair project.
It's currently underway after the January 2017 tornadoes devastated the area.
The project's focus is on roads, sidewalks, and the park.
Now Dougherty County Commissioners were presented with the option to approve a 4,000-foot fence.
It would go along the garden to further beautify the area.
“A three-rail style fence out at Radium Springs. I have a picture of it here. And instead of being traditional wood, this will be made out of PVC, you know plastic, so the maintenance over the long haul should be a lot less,” said Assistant County Administrator, Scott Addison.
The fencing would cost around $53,000.
Commissioners will vote on it at their next work session.
Another construction update:
If you’ve been looking for parking spots in Downtown Albany, you’ve probably realized you can’t park in the East and West end parking decks.
That’s because a one million dollar renovation project is still underway.
County Commissioners approved the estimated 120-day project back in March.
County Administrator Michael McCoy said the East and West End Parking Decks needed structural maintenance.
The board set aside one million dollars for the project and planned to spend almost 600 thousand.
This left around 400 thousand dollars for any "hidden unknowns."
Like a recent need to spend money on weatherproofing.
“It will make the area more weatherproof and waterproof and last ten years before any maintenance is needed. And at that time it’s usually about a third of the cost,” Addison said.
The new job would cost a little less than $200,000.
Bringing construction costs up to 4784,000.
While this is an unexpected cost, county commissioners say they do hope to stay under budget throughout the construction process.