TURKEY — With goals to fix blight issues, Mayor Donald Myers and commissioners plan to reach out to railroad officials.
During a recent meeting, commissioners unanimously voted to send a letter to CSX Transportation asking for the removal of sidetrack material along Highway 24, which runs through the middle of Turkey.
“The railroad comes right through the center of town,” Myers said. “We’re trying to clean up the town and if we don’t get that railroad cleaned up, we’re losing a battle here.”
Myers also wants to send a petition with signatures of Turkey residents. According to the latest estimates, the town has close to 300 people. Some commissioners questioned if that amount would be enough to convince a major conglomerate to act.
“If we send letters to chief executives, maybe one of them may be moved to do something for us,” he said.
Letters have been sent before, but Commissioner Max Pope said they can draw up the letter to have more of an emotional appeal, since it’s a major concern. Myers made a suggestion to add pictures of what’s bothering them. Some of the issues include pieces of equipment, rock piles and railroad ties that are caving in. Commissioner Max Pope will gather information and begin the draft for the request.
“We want them to know that it’s the center of town and we need to set an example for all of our citizens to clean up,” Myers said.
At the meeting, Commissioners continued to listen to complaints about people having junky-looking yards. The matter has been an issue in Turkey for awhile. Some of the mentioned nuisances included overgrown trees, broken windows and critters around vacant properties. It was mentioned that issue harms the town’s image with so many motorists passing through on Highway 24.
Nuisance ordinance updated
To help fix the issue, town commissioners updated an ordinance for garbage, trash, and weeds. A text amendment was approved during a public hearing before the meeting. The previous section said that it’s unlawful for any owner, occupant, or other person in control of any building, including open space, or vacant land to place or allow any rubbish, refuse, building rubbish, weeds, or long grass in excess of one foot within the corporate limits.
A portion of the new section reads: “It shall be unlawful to maintain any property, vacant or otherwise upon which there is an uncontrolled growth of noxious weeds, grasses, or bushes to a height in excess of 12 inches and causing or threatening to cause infestation by rats, mice, snakes or vermin of any kind or constituting a fire hazard or which is in any way detrimental to the public health, morals, safety or general welfare…”
Another part states that it’s unlawful to maintain any land, vacant or otherwise, which has upon it rubbish, waste, stagnant ponds, overgrown bushes/shrubs and fallen trees to such an extent that it’s causing infestation by rats, mice, snakes or vermin of any kind or constituting a fire hazard or which is in any way detrimental to the public health, morals, safety or general welfare.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.