Centerville seeks to make businesses delinquent on taxes pay up

Telegraph correspondentMay 20, 2014 

CENTERVILLE -- City Councilman Randall Wright is asking for a new ordinance “with teeth” to make a few Centerville businesses delinquent in city taxes pay up -- or quit doing business.

Wright asked for the ordinance during council’s work session Tuesday. He said one business in the community owes $5,200 in taxes, and others who have been delinquent for three to four years keep getting business licenses renewed with no problem.

Wright said a new ordinance is needed and asked City Attorney Rebecca Tydings to come up with an appropriate proposal giving city officials the ability to go after taxes and potentially withhold business licenses if taxes aren’t paid.

Tydings said 98 percent of Centerville businesses are current in their taxes, but a few are problem cases. She said an appropriate ordinance would help matters.

In an issue involving the city and a problem residential property that’s drawn complaints from neighbors for several years, Tydings reported to council that progress had been made and was ongoing in resolving problems at 210 Tumbleweed Circle near Carl Vinson Parkway.

The empty residence, which is an estate property, has drawn complaints from neighbors over its deteriorating state, the condition of a pool, weeds and lack of upkeep.

Tydings said following various ongoing legal actions, the property’s yard had been cut, the pool filled in and dilapidated overhangs removed. She said she hoped matters regarding the estate and house, which she said was structurally sound, would be finalized soon, and the property could be sold and cared for properly.

Council entered another discussion on property in the city, this time concerning the city’s former -- now empty -- police station on Houston Lake Boulevard.

Tydings said the remaining furniture at the former station was going to be sold at www.govdeals.com. She also said bids would soon be sought to demolish the property with work hopefully done by the end of summer.

Council also gave permission for the city’s fire department to use the empty building for non-burning training drills until it is demolished.

Also during the work session, council created a work committee with authority to carry out plans for its July 1 Hometown Centerville Independence Day Celebration, which will likely be held on the north side of the Houston County Galleria mall.

Part of countywide celebrations the week of July 4, the event is set to feature live bands, a DJ, food vendors, fireworks, a fire department raffle for a cookout smoker, safety demonstrations and other family-friendly attractions.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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