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The Clarksville Board of Aldermen are moving to clean up three blighted properties on South Third Street than have neighbors complaining.
Aldermen Randy Snell, Caron Quick, Joanna Brock and Sue Lindemann voted unanimously at the Thursday, Aug. 22 meeting to issue a summons and letters to property owners to get the large amount of trash and private items picked up.
The summons to appear in Clarksville Municipal Court was issued to Roy and Bertha Emert, who own and live on the lot at 700 S. Third St. Out-of-town owners Victor and Teresa Wright were sent a letter to clean up 608 S. Third St., and absentee owner Roberta Hilton received a letter to deal with her property at 610 S. Third St.
The Emerts were summoned to court after two previous letters to them produced no results, aldermen said. The summons will demand they clean up their property within 15 days.
If the Wrights and Hilton don’t respond to their letters, “we’ll take them to court too,” Snell said.
“We just can’t allow this to continue,” said Mayor Jo Anne Smiley just before the vote.
Work continues by Mayor Smiley and the council on how to avoid problems for the next Mississippi River flood. A huge volunteer effort held back rising waters from mid-April to mid-July and city officials were looking for solutions even before the latest inundation.
One idea is a portable flood wall that was presented to the board at an Aug. 1 meeting. While the flood wall was embraced by the board as a good idea, its $3.5 million price tag is daunting to them and Smiley.
“Where we get the money, I don’t know but we can’t just sit there,” Smiley said at the board meeting.
Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency recently came to Clarksville to assess its recurring flood situation, Smiley said. The mayor also recently took a trip on the river with Corps of Engineers personnel for a low-water inspection tour.
“I’ll keep meeting with people who could make a difference,” Smiley said.
City officials are also looking for volunteers to deal with landowner issues in the floodplain.