Fairfield neighbors concerned about dilapidated houses - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Fairfield neighbors concerned about dilapidated houses, unsafe lots

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FAIRFIELD - AL -

Lots filled with snakes and varmints and weeds taller than most people are creating health concerns for neighbors in Fairfield.

'The weeds are way taller than I am," Gloria Matthews, a neighbor said.

For over a year, Gloria Matthews and her family have watched it grow.

"I cant stand to come outside and look at this," She said. "There is no telling what is in here."

Her house is surrounded by abandoned ones. She says all types of illegal activity as well as rats and snakes have taken up residence.

"My husband was cutting the grass and there was a baby snake that he killed this morning," Matthews said.

"This is ridiculous. In 8 years, something ought to be done. 8-12 years and it's still like this," Harold Nichols, a resident said.

Both petition councilors for help, but so far nothing's changed. Their main concern is not being able to use sidewalks.

"I'm up there almost every meeting," Nichols said.

"It's not important to the council, but to me, it's everything. I don't want my kids having to live like this," Matthews said.

Mayor Kenneth Coachman says it comes down to  money. Cleaning up the dilapidated houses costs more than the city can afford. The city must also acquire each right of way.

"It's difficult for us to keep up with mother nature," Mayor Kenneth Coachman said. "The rain has just beat us down. We are still working very hard. We ask the citizens to be patient with us."

Mayor Coachman says a new piece of legislation may help. They're working with Senator Linda Coleman to find funding to clean up the lots. 

 

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