West Memphis continuing citywide stepped-up code enforcement
Clandestine business, Dumpster divers on the radar as city clamps down on violations
West Memphis Police working code issues made an impact over the last month. Police addressed standing water, overgrown weeds and litter at two different retail locations and have shutdown a chronic yard sale. Commissioners heard the reports during the June Public Works meeting from Police spokesman Captain Joe Baker.
Neighbors complained about appliances being sold out of a garage on Avalon and Dover. Numerous complaints about the residential retailer rang at city hall and even at the newspaper in Text the Times over the last month. Yard sales in the city may be open by permit available at city hall and run for a few consecutive days each year at a particular residential address.
“He started out with a few things under his carport, but now there is more to it than that,” said City Councilman James Holt.
“I don’t think it’s a yard sale, it’s a business,” said Baker. “We will ticket him daily until he stops. His door is down today (June 5), but we will continue to go by there daily to make sure.”
Trash at the Meadowbrook Shopping Center and the Family Dollar on East Broadway at Ingram caught the cops attention as well.
According to Baker the West Broadway shopping center grows weeds like a swamp. City Council had tabled some expansion plans indefinitely at the storage business on the east end of the strip center after seeing the same things for themselves. A second round of expansion plans heard by the planning commission were approved on the condition of adequate pumping to evacuate rain water and regular maintenance kept up with litter, vandalism, and weeds.
Some of the remedial work had begun.
“We have waste and standing water behind the old building at 500 West Broadway,” said Baker.
“The bays fill with rain water and it grows cat tails.
They pumped the water out and are clearing the grass and cat tails, but we are keeping an eye on them.
They need a long term solution to automatically pump the water out.”
Councilman Willis Mondy sat up and took notice after the city council action to table expansion requests.
“He was supposed to do a lot of stuff, but he lied about it,” said Mondy.
“He won’t be able to do the things for business growth unless he get this done,” said Chairwoman Ramona Taylor.
A dollar store on the east end had undertaken an improvement plan to reduce scattered trash. Dumpster divers make a mess on a
Admirable entrepreneurship or public nuisance? One West Memphis resident has drawn the attention of code enforcement officers for running a furniture and appliance “store” from his home on Dover and Avalon.
Photo by Ralph Hardin regular basis at Family Dollar. Baker said new management at the store had become focused on complying with trash ordinances. The retailer made improvements to the trash enclosure and began policing the parking lot in the morning as part of the solutions implemented by the store manager. Police focused
on litter law compliance.
“People crawl into that Dumpster at night,” said Baker. “She has her employees out there picking up the trash in the morning. She worked on the structure some. I think that reasonably they are doing everything they can. We’re trying not to ticket them if they keep the trash picked up.”
By John Rech