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Fountain Heights Eyesore Demolished After Residents Remain Persistent On Their Efforts to Cleanup Neighborhood

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An eyesore in the Fountain Heights is no more, and residents say they are glad to see that after months and months of voicing their concerns, neighbors can now say good bye to a home that was long over due for demolition. Below are tips that can help other constituents strategize in order to get quick resolve to these growing concerns:
 

 

 

  1. Dial 311 to report the overgrown lot long before you recognize signs of excess vegetation.
  1. Make sure you have the specific address of the lot(s) that needs to be cut. If there is no visible address, list the street name and if possible, verify what specific address the property is near.
  1. Once 311 confirms a tracking number, keep this number in a safe place for records to follow up on the request(s).
  1. Be consistent when following up on requests to cut the lots and tear down abandoned homes. Keep a record and log of all responses regarding the lots for your files.
  1. Attend a Birmingham City Council Meeting to get on the speaker’s list and voice your concerns for additional public record. Bring the recorded log of all responses to ensure accuracy when you speak before the Birmingham City Council and the Mayor’s Administration.
  1. Encourage neighbors to keep their yards cut by lending a helping hand. People experience hardships. Some may be elderly, ill or work long hours that prevent them from maintaining their properties as they’d like. Communities are beautified through collective efforts.

Birmingham City Councilor Sheila Tyson, Chair of the Public Improvements and Beautification/ Park and Recreation Cultural Arts Committee, says that once communities make collective efforts to report problems in their neighborhood, the overgrown lots and abandoned buildings could become a problem of the past.

“We must hold each other accountable when it comes to the upkeep of our communities, including all city leaders,” Councilor Tyson said. “Blight caused by overgrown lots and abandoned buildings are not a problem until someone chooses to neglect their property. It never hurts us as a community to strategize and take steps to ensure that the lots stay cut, and that those who are responsible for them are held accountable. I’m confident that we’ll see greater changes when this happens.”

The Birmingham City Council approved funding during the 2016 fiscal year budget that included $6.5 million for weed abatement and demolition. In addition to putting funding in place, Councilors also followed up with the Road Map to Revitalization Tour, by traveling to area residents’ select locations to engage citizens in focused meetings for feedback on cleaning improvements and to confirm that the allocated $6.5 million was maximized ultimately ensuring neighborhood projects were completed. Programs are in place to monitor nuisance abatement and remain a crucial component to address the problems growing vegetation within policing and code enforcement. The term weed abatement refers to using building codes, fire codes, zoning, etc. in order to improve the quality of life and resolve life safety issues within neighborhoods. The Birmingham City Councilors are dedicated to consistently work with constituents to identify and report overgrown lots that contain dangerous noxious and hazardous conditions caused by abandoned structures and foundations.

About 311

The City of Birmingham is dedicated to provide excellent customer service for all citizens. Birmingham 311 is the liaison with City departments to handle Citizens’ needs. 311 issues service requests with departments and follows up to ensure the request is resolved in a timely manner. Birmingham 311 answers non-emergency calls and any requests for city services. The following are some examples of city service requests: Missed Trash Service; Brush Pickup; Abandoned Vehicles; Malfunctioning Traffic Lights; Overgrown Vacant Lots; Pot Holes; Storm water Runoff Problems and Clogged Storm Drains. The 311 Call Center also handles citizen concerns or complaints in conjunction with the Mayor’s Office of Citizen’s Assistance (MOCA). Hours of Operation are 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Monday thru Friday. To share your experience or any concerns, click here  to email or contact (205) 254-6314.

This article is a contribution from Chiara Perry (chiara.perry@birminghamal.gov) in the Birmingham City Council Public Information Office. For more information please contact 205.254.2294.