Tribune-Courier News Editor
BENTON – County leaders have agreed to look into utilizing third party contractors to remove abandoned private property. Commissioner Misti Drew raised the issue Tuesday at a meeting of the Marshall County Fiscal Court, noting the number of abandoned mobile homes in the north end of the county.
“We’ve been talking about this issue for some time and I know we’ve got our ordinance in place,” said Drew. “I ran across a gentleman the other day who was in the process of tearing down a mobile home in Calvert City. I didn’t know if it might be something we could explore as a court. He doesn’t charge anything for the removal, all he requires is a roll-off box.”
Drew said she was unsure of what state or federal regulations they might face if the county were to use a third party contractor for removal of abandoned trailers. Drew asked the court if it could look into possible costs.
“They have to be abandoned according to EPA regulations,” said Judge Exectuive Mike Miller. “Are they going to take care of the disposal themselves? If we’re willing to put a box out there, are they willing to, or are they expecting us to pay for the disposal cost?”
County Attorney Jeff Edwards said a new state law could complicate removal even more. According to Edwards, any tract of land 10 acres or more is considered agricultural property. The law limits what county officials can do to remove abandoned structures.
“We, especially in the old portion of Gilbertsville, have so many of these properties and they’re nothing more than a hazard,” Drew said. “If our only cost is disposal, it would be a lot easier to bear that burden than to take our crews taking these properties down.”
Abandoned homes present problems by attracting nesting forms of wildlife, as well as being potential fire hazards. They also lower overall property values in an area.
The court agreed to gather information on the potential cost of disposing of abandoned trailers and discuss it at a future meeting.