The Morehouse Parish Beautification Committee works hard at trying to keep the corridors of the city
clean as well as help citizens keep their neighborhoods and businesses tidy. But, there is only so much they can do especially on private property.
A Bastrop resident has a vacant lot located across the road from her house and the lot, which housed a trailer, is filled with debris left when the trailer burned several years ago. In the debris, huge rats have taken up residence and they are now reeking havoc in the neighborhood.
"We have done everything we can think of," said Pat Weems. "We have called city hall numerous times and just can't get anyone to do anything about this mess."
Weems, along with another neighbor, have had to have wires replaced on their vehicles because the rats are gnawing them apart. They are also burrowing under the fence surrounding Weems' home and chewing through the floor of the house.
"It's just crazy. My husband is doing all he can to keep them out, but they just keep finding new spots to chew through," Weems said.
Weems and other neighbors have contacted the Code Enforcement Officer for Bastrop, but was told there were too many heirs owning the property to get anything done. The city has an ordinance in place which covers unsanitary premises. Investigation into the property owner was found by this reporter rather quickly. Calls to the Code Enforcement Office were unanswered.
ORDINANCE NO. 07-4123
Sec. 10-47. Unsanitary premises generally.
(a) The owner or tenant of any property or premises in the city, who shall permit the accumulation of garbage, litter, rubbish, refuse, junk, filthy or offensive matter thereon, shall be deemed guilty of maintaining a nuisance.
(b) When such a condition exists in the city, the owner, and/or tenant shall be notified by certified mail advising him of the condition of the premises and giving him five (5) days within which to remove the accumulation of garbage, litter, rubbish, refuse, junk, filthy or offensive matter.
(c) If the owner or tenant fails to comply with the notice within five (5) days, the city through the city attorney shall be authorized to file a civil action in the Bastrop City Court ordering the owner, and/or tenant to appear and show cause, if any he can, why he should not be ordered to remove the accumulation of garbage, litter, rubbish, refuse, junk, filthy or offensive matter from the premises.
(d) In the event the court orders the owner, and/or tenant to remove the garbage, litter, rubbish, refuse, junk, filthy or offensive matter from the premises and the owner, and/or tenant fails to comply with the orders of the court, upon application of the city, the court shall find the owner and/or tenant in contempt of court and in addition to any other penalties prescribed by the court shall grant to the city a judgment sufficient to defray the actual costs to the city for removal of the accumulated of garbage, litter, rubbish, refuse, junk, filthy or offensive matter.