Mayor Threatens to Close Apt. Complex

Mayor Frank Melton says he will begin the process of shutting down the Jackson Apartments on Monday. This is one of his first moves in cleaning up Jackson.

Trash litters the grounds of the Jackson Apartments. Burned out, vacant units, left to decay for years, surround dozens of children and families.

“People in Jackson are not going to live like that,” said Jackson Mayor Frank Melton.

Pointing out the problems, Mayor Frank Melton says this complex has been on his radar for more than a year.

“We’ve got a lot of activity over there that we are just going to have to correct it.”

And to do so the mayor will take the complex to chancery court, citing health and fire code violations

“That’s a crack head up there smoking crack,” said Melton while motioning to a burnt out window. “He set that place on fire, and it has been that way for the past year or so. That is just inexcusable.

Bessie May Daniels is on her way out. The 79-year-old has lived in the complex for about a year. “It is just so crowded,” said Daniels.

Between cockroaches, broken appliances, and even snakes, she says she is tired of it.

“I’ve complained but it don’t do no good,” she said

Mayor Melton says he try will find Daneils and all the residents new housing, but the property owners will put up a fight. The building’s manager says a new owner in New Orleans has been trying to contact Mayor Melton and wants to turn the complex around. But mr. Melton has heard that before.

“He’s got 72 hours,” Mr. Melton told the manager. “Tell him he’s got 72 hours, and he can find me at city hall.”

The mayor’s presence attracted crowds, mostly children. He says this is about their future.

“If you take a good kid and put them in a sick environment you are going to get a sick child. This is a sick environment and we’re going to put an end to it.”

Frank Melton says he will give the owners thirty days to show the city remodeling plans, but he wants to get the ball rolling. He will talk to the city council about funding the relocation of many of tenants at the complex.

WLBT
7/18/5