Resident's battle with nuisance property continues after years

By JAMIE PATTERSON,

Magnolia Thomas is sick of repeating the same cycle with the abandoned property next to her home.

Every few years, she said she complains to city officials about the overgrown lot. And every time, she said nothing is done and her pleas are ignored until she comes to the newspaper.

“It’s ridiculous,” Thomas said. “Nothing is ever done. I have to call the paper to get something done.”

Thomas said the city has cleaned up the property in the past. But she said a few years will pass, and the lot will return to the same neglected condition.

“It’s the same thing every few years,” she said. “I shouldn’t have to keep doing this.”

Thomas has lived at 710 Short Jackson St. for 40 years. Her home sits on a fenced lot that is well maintained, completely opposite of the lot that bumps up right to her fence line.

The adjacent lot is overgrown with vegetation. The vacant building is almost completely consumed by vines and small trees. The building served as a former funeral home and a child development center before being left for nature to reclaim.

According to county records, the property was sold to Jackson resident Lamar Randle in May of 2008. He is also listed as funeral director and mortician of House of Randle Memorial Funeral Chapel in Jackson. Phone calls to his personal phone number listed on the county record went to a number that had been disconnected. Phone calls to the Randle Funeral Home were unanswered.

“I don’t know what is going on in that building, but there are still caskets and embalming chemicals or something all inside,” Thomas said. “Folks used to go in there and do drugs, but now it is so overgrown they won’t even go in there anymore.”

Thomas said not only is the lot an eyesore, but she also said it is a health hazard. Last week, while picking peaches from her tree, she said a snake came over her fence from the overgrown lot.

“I killed it, but I shouldn’t have to worry about snakes and rats coming over onto my property,” she said. “And there is a daycare across the street too. With all those kids over there, a snake could easily go over there to them too.”