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Piles of junk at 735 Pickens St. in Hartselle have been the subject of complaints.
Daily photo by Deangelo McDaniel
Piles of junk at 735 Pickens St. in Hartselle have been the subject of complaints.

They're heading
to court

Nuisance complaints leading to summons to at least 5 Hartselle homeowners

By Deangelo McDaniel
dmcdaniel@decaturdaily.com 340-2469

HARTSELLE — In keeping with its one-strike-and-you-are-in-court ordinance to rid Hartselle of blight, city officials will summons at least five homeowners to court this week.

"We're doing the paperwork and preparing things with the Police Department," said Jeff Johnson of the Department of Development.

Of the 641 nuisance complaints Hartselle has received this year, almost all the residents have complied with city codes.

"But there are some people who just won't do what they are supposed to do," Johnson said.

City records show that one of the summonses will go to the property owner at 735 Pickens St.

According to the Morgan County revenue commissioner's office, Patricia Brown is the landowner. Hartselle received its first complaint about the property June 26.

The city mailed regular and certified letters to Brown. The certified letter was unclaimed.

Johnson said the property owner has made improvements, but is not compliant.

The Daily received complaints about 735 and 737 Pickens St. Brown owns both homes. The Daily tried unsuccessfully to contact Brown.

At 735 Pickens St., there is a metal carport with items, including city garbage cans, piled under it.

"This looks better than when we started, but it doesn't comply," Johnson said.

Johnson said he has not received a complaint about 737 Pickens St., but looked at the situation Tuesday morning.

At this address, someone has placed a blue tarp over the carport to hide excess debris.

There is also an inoperable vehicle in the driveway.

"The only thing wrong at 737 is the tarp and old car," Johnson said.

Johnson said this will be the first time for Hartselle to mail multiple summonses. In the past, the city has mailed multiple letters warning landowners.

"We've baby-sat, but we're not doing that anymore," he said. "We're sending one letter warning property owners about violations and this is it."

The majority of homeowners have responded favorably to letters from City Hall, Johnson said.

The city's ordinance lets the judge fine violators up to $500 per day for not complying or sentence them to up to six months in jail.

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