'It's not a free service': Hazard cracking down on properties violating city codes

Published: Oct. 3, 2019 at 6:04 PM EDT
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On Thursday, the City of Hazard cleaned up a property on Highway 15 heading into the city.

Officials are issuing notices and citations to properties that are not up to code.

"These are what we call imminent action and emergency action and this is one of the first properties you see as you come in the city and we just wanted to make sure it's cleaned up," said Police and Fire Commissioner Tony Eversole.

Officials posted a citation on the property on Highway 15, but the owners did nothing.

"The landowner ignored the citation, which after seven days, the citation actually turns into a final order," said Eversole.

A crew of city workers cleaned up junk surrounding the buildings. The buildings will not be torn down yet.

"We're probably right at 100 pieces of appliance here. I mean refrigerators, ice chests, ovens, stuff that's not safe," said Eversole.

Some buildings in Hazard have been violating codes for years.

"If they can't, or they don't get it cleaned up, as a city we will come clean up this property, but you get a bill. It's not for free. It's not a free service," said Susan Brotherton, a city commissioner.

The city recently tore down a building on Memorial Drive.

"401 Memorial was completely unsafe. It was a fire hazard, it was a structure hazard, and a hazard just for the community," said Eversole.

Brotherton says she wants the city to look welcoming for new businesses.

"You have blighted property near you, it hurts your business. People don't wanna come shop. They're scared of abandoned-looking areas," said Brotherton.

Eversole says they plan to tear down more buildings soon. He did say some property owners are putting in work to get their properties up to speed.