City on way to prettier neighborhoods

Published 7:04 am Saturday, July 9, 2016

We’re happy that so far six homes that had been abandoned and off of the property tax rolls in Bogalusa have now been sold, are on the tax rolls and are on their way to looking better.

We want to congratulate the city leaders once again for voting to allow CivicSource to auction off abandoned property. Six houses isn’t a lot in the face of the dozens of abandoned properties, but it is better than nothing and we suspect when more people realize they can buy a home for $5,000 or $6,000, they will participate in CivicSource auctions. And while it is true that these houses may need a lot of work, the end result could easily be less than buying a home in better shape.

However, as residents will agree, CivicSource can’t fix all the problems in Bogalusa’s neighborhoods. Some homeowners ignore their yards. Some homeowners own property that includes dilapidated, falling down buildings.

In these situations, it is proper and correct that the city should step in to take care of the problem and then charge the fee to the property owner.

As it stands, the city cannot do this. However, later this month the city council could take up the issue and change the law. This could allow a cleaning crew to go onto private property and cleanup eyesores.

Maybe some will argue that private property is sacrosanct and that property rights are not to be trampled. However, this ignores the fact that we all live in a community and in communities, what one person or what one homeowner does often impacts the rest of us for good or ill. Besides, the city — as any government — has a duty to protect its citizens from obvious hazards and dangers that serve no benefit and weedy, overgrown lots and dangerously dilapidated structures certainly fit those criteria.

Therefore, we urge our city council to vote in favor of the greater good and begin cleaning up Bogalusa.