MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) - Mose Chapel Road resident Nancy Burch emailed WHNT News 19 two weeks ago at her rope’s end. She said she had been trying to get inoperable vehicles and overgrown brush removed from her neighbor’s property for years – since June 25, 2007 to be precise.
Burch gave us a tour along her property line where we found half-a-dozen inoperable vehicles. Burch said since 2007 she has been in contact numerous times with Madison City Code Enforcement officials to try to get the issue cleaned up – an issue she says has persisted through 3 Madison mayors.
On June 10 we spoke with Madison Director of Building Jimmy Morgan who confirmed with a city code enforcement officer that the property owner, Bruce Dansby, had in fact been previously cited, fined and taken to court over issues with his yard.
Morgan said they often have to deal with repeat offenders who go right back to the same behavior after they have been asked to fix a situation. Morgan explains resource limitations obviously prevent the city from keeping regular checks on properties they have already addressed. He said Burch needed to submit another complaint to the city so they can come revisit the yard in question.
“Yes absolutely,” Morgan says. “We are always able to answer those types of calls. We do appreciate any type of extra information or the ability to meet with someone and be on their property to be able to view what their viewing.”
After our trip to Madison City Hall and our talk with Morgan, Burch let us know she saw movement the very next morning with a visit from Jimmy Morgan.
"He was upset," recalls Burch. "He was upset about what happened and he looked pretty nervous - I felt sorry for him. He said he hated that it happened on his watch and I did too for him because he's a really nice person."
Burch gave Morgan a tour of the property showing all the vehicles and vegetation.
"He said give us time, we're going to work on this."
That next Saturday Burch says a flurry of chainsaw action began and heavy equipment to haul away inoperable vehicles moved in.
"Tow trucks and garbage and limbs everywhere," Burch says.
The vegetation is cleared away and all but one questionable vehicle has been removed.
After 7 years of failed attempts, Nancy says it looks like it just took the presence of a camera and a little polite investigating from WHNT News 19.
"I'm much happier."