Prairieville residents want abandoned property cleaned up

PRAIRIEVILLE, LA (WAFB) - People in one Prarieville neighborhood are tired of seing overgrown grass and bushes at one of the homes there in the Fairmont Gardens subdivision. They say they've complained to the Ascension Parish Department of Public Works, but nothing has happened. So they contacted WAFB.

There are matching mailboxes and lawns that have been manicured in the neighborhood. Fairmont Gardens has no neighborhood association, but having neighbors care for their properties does keep things uniform.

However in the midst of all that is nice sits a home that is different from all the others.

"It just makes our neighborhood look bad," said one neighbor, who spoke off-camera. "It brings down the value of our homes."

Right next door to the house in question is a home that's for sale. Neighbors say that person has had problems attracting a buyer because of the problem next door.

"Who wants to move in next to an abandoned house?" the neighbor asked.

They say November 2012 was the last time they saw anyone living in the home.

Until recently, some who live near the property say they were taking turns mowing the front yard and keeping the property somewhat under control. They also took the time to pick up the mailbox when it was hit. But now, it's the gate to the backyard that's drawing attention.

Neighbors say they've seen children going in and out of the yard. One woman told us she and another neighbor recently checked the backyard to make sure no one was at the house. They  saw a gun and immediately called the sheriff's office.

Parish officials say DPW has only one complaint on record from June 10. DPW has since sent a letter to the homeowner telling them they have until June 30 to clean things up, otherwise the parish will step in and do the work and then bill the homeowner.

"We've seen mice, wasps, and hornets you name it. Thre's Poison Ivy growing through the fence. We've had a snake in the last couple weeks that came over."

For those who live in the neighborhood, June 30 can't come soon enough.

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