City acts to clean derelict property

Deidre Cruse, Governmental Reporter

The Plaquemine Board of Selectmen voted last week to begin the city foreclose two problem properties and to advertise for the demolition of a third house.

The action is part of the city's effort to clean up derelict property.

The city also is working to have unpaid grass-cutting fees placed on parish property tax notices. The city charges $100 an hour to clean up neglected property, but property owners often do not pay their bills.

Mayor Mark A. “Tony” Gulotta said the city is out $2,000 for grass cutting at 23930 Harmason Street, where he asked for condemnation signs to be posted and the house secured to keep people out. The property owners were listed as Joseph and Vivian J. Burks.

“The way it stands, somebody is going to get hurt,” the mayor said.

At Gulotta's request, the city council authorized City Attorney L. Phillip Canova Jr. to begin foreclosure proceedings on that property, as well as property at 58388 W. W. Harleaux Street, where the owner is listed as Barbara A. Smith.

The council voted to advertise for bids to demolish a condemned house at 58657 Allen Street, where the owners are listed as Leroy Smith Jr. and others.

“Go ahead and seize it so we can put the house up for sale,” Gulotta recommended on the Allen Street property.