Floyd County hopes to begin cleanup of resident's 'eyesore' property as early as next week
There's one thing cleanup crews cannot remove.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- There's now a timetable for a fix at the home of a notorious New Albany neighbor whose yard is being called an "eyesore," but there's one problem cleanup crews can't sweep away.
Larry Clemons knows all about the mess his neighbor has made. In fact, he said it's become a landmark he uses to tell his friends how to spot his own house on Hausfeldt Lane.
"We just tell them next to the junk yard," Clemons said. "It's like a landfill, and if you pass that, you went too far."
But Clemons said he would be fine if the garbage was gone, and he had to come up with a new way to give directions. Floyd County leaders said they're listening, and cleanup may be coming as soon as next week.
"We gave a one-week period to let bids on taking care of the mess out there," said Mark Seabrook, President of the Floyd County Commission. "Realistically, within two days after Tuesday, I hope we have boots on the ground out there."
For Clemons, that's good news.
"That's great," Clemons said. "I'm glad to see something being done. We've put up with this a long time."
In fact, he's put up with it for years. Clemons owns a veterans care home next door to the eyesore, and last week the county won an emergency order, taking cleaning up out of owner Jarett Hamilton's hands.
"It's a long story, OK?" Hamilton said Wednesday afternoon.
With unknown chemicals, trash and debris attracting rodents, Hamilton's home was deemed a public safety risk.
"It's going to be appealed," he said. "I got rights too. I'm not putting up with this."
Hamilton claims leaders are conspiring to tear down or sell the property. It's unlivable, according to the health department, and he was banned from the land when he delayed cleanup.
Still, whoever wins the contract must leave the vehicles.
"I think we can even empty the automobiles out, but we can't remove the automobiles yet," Seabrook said.
There were at least 12 vehicles visible between the front and back yards, and the county is trying to steer clear of the problems that led New Albany into a lawsuit after the city paid to clear Hamilton's mess twice before.
"The ordinance would be about stricter zoning, so we could classify it," Seabrook said. "So if it looks like a junk yard, it might be a junkyard."
But the home's location is part of the problem. The house sits on a ridge line riding New Albany and Floyd County boundaries, without clear jurisdiction.
"Well, at least that's a start," Clemons said.
Neighbors like Clemons hope the third time is the charm, and that this cleanup lasts. But if it does, Clemons is going to have to come up with new directions to get to his home.
"That will be good to do," he said. "I'd be glad to do that."
Leaders plan to put a lean on Hamilton's home for the cost of cleanup, but Floyd County taxpayers will fund the initial bill. Bids for the job are currently being accepted. The county commission plans to award a contract at its next meeting on Oct. 17.
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