The city of Saginaw, MI, is fighting back against people who operate car repair businesses in the middle of neighborhoods. The vehicles are towed away and their owners have to pay to get them back. Terry Camp from WJRT-TV reports on the story.
Below is the article as it appeared on the WJRT-TV Channel 12 website.
Saginaw Fights Back Blight Problem
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
By Terry Camp
SAGINAW (WJRT) Saginaw’s fight against blight continues as another resident has had several vehicles taken from his property.
The city is cracking down on people who operate car repair operations in the middle of neighborhoods.
It was a little more than two weeks ago that this latest effort was tourted by the city’s code enforcement team to crack down on junk vehicles.
The wreckers were lined up again at another Saginaw home, this time on Lynwood on the city’s eastside. Curtis William not only owns chickens there, but he also owns a lot of cars.
"I repair them," he said.
But five days after getting notice from the city that he had to remove the vehicles from the rental property and an adjacent piece of land, William has seven fewer cars to work on.
Saginaw’s code enforcement team is not sure how many of these improvised auto lots are in the city.
Saginaw Police Department Officer Scott Bickel says cars on lots like these can cause as much trouble as vacant homes.
"People can hide behind the cars and do what they want to do without most people being able to see them," he said.
The vehicles are taken to Mike’s Wrecker Service, where the Williams will be able to get the cars back for a price.
John Harvey had 17 vehicles towed away from property around his northeast Saginaw home two weeks ago.
It cost him $8,000, and he has put the vehicles in storage for now. He’s little lighter in the pocket, but understands why it happened.
"They are trying to clean up the city and I’m all for it," he said.
As for William, he said goodbye to the cars for good.
"I don’t have the money to go buy them back," he said.
If William doesn’t pay the fees to get the cars back, the wrecker service keeps them.
To read this article on the WJRT-TV Channel 12 website, visit http://abclocal.go.com/wjrt/story?section=news/local&id=7358927.