Turkey board steps up

A fire has been ignited under members of the Turkey Town Board and the results will be less blight for citizens to have to endure.

Since February, the town board has been tenacious in its attempts to get CSX Transportation to assist with improvement to a drainage ditch that is caving in and remove debris from the tracks that run through the heart of the small Sampson town, and it appears those efforts will pay off in a big way.

This week, at the town’s regular board member, Mayor Donald Myers informed the board that the state Department of Transportation is working with CSX officials to resolve the ditch issue and railroad officials have agreed to remove the loose pieces of equipment that dot the tracks.

While the sidetrack removal town officials wanted was nixed, board members won major victories all the same. The end result will be less junk lining the tracks, a move that will upgrade the town’s appearance and improve the safety for those walking along that section of Turkey.

No one wants to see pieces of railroad ties, iron, spikes and plates strewn across the tracks, giving the perception that the town doesn’t care about its appearance. So it’s a positive that town officials didn’t give up quickly on its efforts to have CSX take some responsibility for the blight and agree to help resolve at least a portion of the problem.

To Myers and the town board we offer a thumbs up for their bull-doggedness in seeing that at least a portion of the town’s trash problem was resolved.

Now it’s time for the board to take the necessary steps to see that yet another blight problem across busy N.C. 24 in the town is handled with the same resolve.

That problem is a bit stickier since it involves a property owner and town residents, but blight is blight and the needs to resolve the issue is just as vital.

Town officials had been granting extension after extension to the property owner, allowing them more than ample time to remove heaps of garbage behind her house, in plain view of passers-by on N.C. 24. The garbage is sightly, a likely health issue and a certain appearance problem for the town.

But it will take the same tenacity from town board members to ensure the problem is resolved once and for all, and continued extensions won’t do the trick. Sharper teeth in warnings are the only way to ensure the trash is cleaned up and done so in a timely manner.

We know it is a delicate issue when one begins to talk about how a citizen keeps up their property, but when the property becomes such an eyesore that it proves detrimental to the town and frustrates other residents who abide by the laws, something must be done.

That time has long since come and gone.

No one wants to live in an unkempt area that looks more like the salvage yard than a quaint town. That is one of the reasons small towns have governing boards. Those members have done a great job of ensuring that CSX does its part to help the town’s appearance. Now its time for that same board to ensure property owners do the same.

Warnings aren’t going to do the trick, but action will. We hope that action come and comes soon, proving the town board is fair in how it metes out enforcement.

Members’ tenancity needs to include property owners