As Jackson’s trash debacle grows more expensive, residents say money should be directed elsewhere

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 11:07 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Not all Jackson residents are pleased with the amount of money the city is spending on legal fees to figure out who will pick up people’s trash.

Those fees now top at least $138,000 dollars.

It’s unclear how much Jackson owes one of the city council’s attorneys, Deshun Martin, so the legal expenses are likely much more than that.

Meanwhile, the trash battles appear far from over with yet another trash-related case pending in Hinds County Chancery Court.

“I don’t understand why the money is used to stay in court on things that were already working,” South Jackson resident Franklin Mason said.

Mason feels the money the capital city is spending in court due to the ongoing trash debacle could be put to better use.

“The money that they’re using for that could be used to better Jackson. They could use it to get rid of [abandoned or overgrown] houses or even better some of these streets,” he said.

Mason lives next door to a blighted property that WLBT first told you about earlier this month.

He said city leaders told him two years ago that the property was on their demolition list, but so far, the only progress made was when crews trimmed some of the overgrown area.

However, Mason said workers left the job unfinished and didn’t come by until two weeks ago.

“When I first bought this house, I was inquiring about the house next door. I was assured that if I filed the paperwork correctly then, within two to three years, the house would be either be torn down, or they’d clean it up and the city would take over,” he said.

Mason pointed to several other properties within walking distance of his home that used to be overgrown but have since been cleaned up in recent months.

As he continues waiting for the same thing to happen to the blight next door, he said his property value continues to depreciate.

“I am a taxpayer. I’m a senior citizen,” Mason said. “I feel like my wife and I both should be able to live in a clean place.”

Council President Virgi Lindsay said the city’s legal expenses come from a pot of money that’s set aside each year during the budgeting process.

However, it’s unclear how much money was set aside for this year and what happens if they spend more than what’s budgeted.

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