Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

November 1, 2012

Discussions regarding code enforcement and trash deemed a success

Ben Tinsley
Jacksonville Daily Progress

JACKSONVILLE —



Questions from residents regarding substandard houses and structures, area beautification and trash collection dominated Tuesday night's town hall meeting discussion at the Norman Activity Center, 526 E. Commerce Street.

As many as 30 residents attended the event, which lasted a good couple of hours, officials said.

"It was a good meeting," said Jacksonville City Manager Mo Raissi. "We had staff there present a slide show, and also talk to citizens and listen to their questions. As the citizens talked, we jotted down their questions and concerns."

This week's meeting was called in the hope of addressing code enforcement questions. It walked residents through the legal process a municipality goes through dealing with the nuisances of tall weeds, grass, junk and debris, junk vehicles and the aforementioned substandard houses and structures.

"The city attorney also was there to help us explain to them the state laws we have to follow," the city manager said.

The residents had specific questions about the house condemnation process, according to reports.

"Their concern was why, when houses are condemned, people still choose to live there," Raissi said.

"There isn't much you can do unless you catch a house when it's vacant. By law you have to allow people if they want to bring a house up to code," he said.

Another topic at the meeting was trash pickup and why the city of Jacksonville doesn't require residents to store their trash in containers as do cities such as Fort Worth.

"We will be looking closely into the issue of putting trash in containers," Raissi said.