Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Letters to the Editor

September 16, 2013

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: YUM YUMS...READERS CONTINUE TO WEIGH IN

JACKSONVILLE — This letter is addressing the letter to the editor from Reece Daniel concerning the Yum Yum’s downtown property. The letter states that the property owner or the lien holder should clean up the destroyed property and that the clean up should not be the responsibility of the city. The letter also states that this is the “rest of the story.” That is in fact not the rest of the story. The complete story is the the owner has abandoned the property, moved out of the city, and opened another business. No one, including the city, has sued him. 

Reece Daniel says that the lien holder should be responsible if the owner is not. How foolish would it be for any lien holder, be it a bank or an individual, to take that responsibility? If the cost of the clean-up for this building is as the letter states, $60,000 to $70,000; one has to ask, “is the lot is even worth that much money?”  If the property is worth as much as the cost of the clean up, then lien holder would jump at the opportunity to clean it up.

It is the unknown cost associated with this property that prevents any prudent individual from taking the risk.  Who, then, should take the risk?  The answer is that the entire community should take on this project. If the city’s lien does not take precedence before the first lien holder, then the city should negotiate with the 1st lien holder to purchase the note.  After clean up, the city should auction the property and sell it for a fair market value. This issue will then be settled. 

If the city recoups all of its cost, that is great. If it does not, then at least the city no longer has the unsightly blight that is now downtown. And, the adjacent property holders can finally resume their businesses. 

Should we really allow the community to suffer by letting more derelict buildings sit unavailable for use when this issue can be resolved?  By not taking any action, the city will be putting a total of three downtown buildings out of commission to sit useless and abandoned. There are people in the community that believe that the city government has no responsibility to see that property values are maintained and improved. Let me ask those of you who have lived in this community for the last 30 years:  Is this city as vibrant as it once was?  Is it as attractive to newcomers? Is your property value increasing or not?  It is time for the community and its’ government to adopt a “creative, strong, vibrant, we can make Jacksonville better attitude.” What a great opportunity this could be for this town! The “tearing down” of a building could be the beginning of a “building up” of the community. 

The city leaders should seize this opportunity and be the leaders of fostering this attitude of pride in their city.  That will finally complete the story.

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