Saturday, March 29, 2008

It was a cute little house – the kind of home you could imagine as a "starter" home for a young couple or a place where an empty nester could go to downsize.

Now it's just going to be another abandoned property.

There have been three fires this week in our area – one on I 91 when a tanker carrying a full load of diesel fuel had an accident and burst into flames. it shut down the highway in both directions for hours and there were deaths. Another tore through a retail complex shutting down five or six businesses.

So what happened on my street, two doors down was small potatoes. It is the kind of thing that consistently plagues us who live in urban areas such as Springfield. A house is abandoned, kids, homeless, drug dealers see an opportunity for a playground, a shelter, or a business location and before you know it there seems to be a fire.

Now the issue will be for the city to make sure this building is secured, the property owners notified and the apparently cumbersome machinery that will determine the ultimate fate of the structure will be set into motion. My guess is that it will stand there to rot until the city takes it for back taxes and then it will be added to the lost of properties the city will try to sell at auction.

Right now it's wide open. We look looked through the broken windows and saw walls covered with graffiti. It has been some one's club house for a while.

It didn't have to burn. If the owner had secured the building after the last tenant, perhaps this could have been avoided, but he didn't.

The owner, according to city records, is Thomas Morrell who resides at 15701 Leather Leaf Lane in Land O Lakes FL. I couldn't find a phone number on line for him or I would have called him. Perhaps I'll try directory information. He should know what he has done to this neighborhood.

It didn't have to burn. If the city had heeded the concerns of neighbors who called the police to roust the kids from there. The police would come, tell the kids to go and that was that. I'm not blaming the police, but did these concerns get transferred to city departments that might do something? The mayor has a new quality of life flex squad but so far no action has been taken.

© 2008 by Gordon Michael Dobbs

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