NEW ORLEANS EAST- Residents in one New Orleans East neighborhood are voicing concerns about the eyesore around them.
People living in Rosedale subdivision say they are surrounded by overgrown weeds and abandoned buildings. The biggest eyesore, they say, sits on Ray Avenue near Chef Menteur Highway.
Linda Williams, President of Rosedale subdivision says the vacant apartment complex has been there since Hurricane Katrina.
"This is where they come, either to do whatever they want to do. It's here," Williams said.
In the vacant lot, tires, mattresses, and even a burnt car can be seen on the property. Williams says she has also noticed suspicious activity.
"Either it's drugs. Or it's sexual. And the reason I know it's sexual is because I have parked behind that person, gotten their license plate and knocked on their car to tell them, this is not the area," Williams said.
Williams said the unkempt lot continues to see vagrants push down gates and boarded up doors.
"You could tell someone's been here cause the sheetrock is over here. And they probably put a pallet right here to lay or whatever," Williams said.
Adam Lee, a local pastor, says he's been complaining to the city for years.
"I don't feel that anywhere else in the city of New Orleans that any of the officials walk out of their homes or ride through their neighborhoods and have to view this! And me as a taxpayer, I shouldn't have to," Pastor Lee said.
Eyewitness News reached out to Maurice Baird, Chief of Staff to Councilman James Gray II. Baird says the property is owned by two people, and just recently they reached a deal.
"As of last week, a deal was worked with code enforcement where the owner of the property . Dr. Arnold Fletcher and Kimberly Williamson have secured a $6.1 million loan to do renovation for that property and some other properties that they have out in New Orleans East," Williams said.
Baird said Councilman Gray has been fighting hard to hold property owners accountable.
"The property had over $400,000 in liens. So they were doing it and actually up to the last day it was up for a sheriff's sale. So, it's unfortunate we have to go through things like that, but sometimes we go through that to motivate owners to do what they should be doing with their property," Baird said.
Baird says residents could see construction on the property begin in the next 30 to 60 days. Williams only hopes that's true.
"I would just like my area to look like a rose. A beautiful rose. That's our name. Rosedale subdivision," Williams said.
City leaders say if you have any concerns about abandoned properties, please call 311.
Williams is also planning to have a community clean up gathering. It will be held April 1 from 8 am - 12 pm. Will meet at Reynes Street and Chef Menteur Highway. Lunch will be served after. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Linda Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org
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