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The view at 220 Fifth Ave. S.W.
Daily photo by Evan Belanger
The view at 220 Fifth Ave. S.W.

Hiding in plain sight

Location: 220 Fifth Ave. S.W., Decatur.

Description: A neighbor complained the house has been abandoned for about 15 years. Shrubs in the yard have grown unchecked for years, a portion of the roof is deteriorating and junk clutters the front porch and interior of the structure.

The home appeared abandoned when The Daily visited the site Wednesday.

Property owner: According to the Morgan County revenue commissioner's office, the property belongs to Juanita Whitlow, but The Daily was unable to find contact information for anyone by that name.

The revenue office estimates the value of the property to be about $25,200 and lists its condition as poor.

Whitlow purchased the property in August 1996 from Hugh and Mary Russell, according to records maintained by the Morgan County probate office.

Ordinance: Decatur's weed, junk and litter ordinance prohibits property owners from allowing any ornamental shrubbery and ground cover to grow uncontrolled or in an unmanaged condition. It also prohibits scrap or junk from being stored in any location other than an approved, enclosed structure.

Responsible officials: The property is in District 1, which is represented by City Council President Billy Jackson.

According to the Decatur Community Development Department, no official complaints have been lodged about the property.

Let us know if you're tired of seeing a dilapidated building, litter, a drainage problem or an eyesore in your neighborhood. Contact Community Development's weed, junk and litter hot line at 341-4963. You can also contact the Daily newsroom at 340-2433 or

Evan Belanger

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