Fixing city eyesores

 The city of New Albany’s decision to take legal action if necessary to get a commercial property cleaned up is an important move in the right direction.

The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to get an injunction if necessary to get improvements made to the property where Grisham Wholesale is located on Carter Avenue.

City Building and Zoning Inspector Mike Armstrong told the board that the property, which is owned by Lisa Mallett and her two sons, has had ongoing complaints for years.

Mallet wants to clean up the property, but the property’s former owner, Jimmy Grisham, who also is Mallet’s father, refuses to go along, Armstrong said.

“Lisa came to me to ask for help,” Armstrong told the board. “She is full-fledged for getting it cleaned up. Whatever it takes; she’s ready to do it.”

Scott Dunnam, alderman at large, asked about other property in disrepair, saying Grisham might suggest the city was targeting him.

Armstrong said the key difference is that Mallett, the property owner, is requesting city help.

We hope that’s not the only reason the city has decided to do something about the situation. There are many properties—commercial, residential and rental residential—that need attention.

We know the city has taken action in the past to clean up some dilapidated property, but we would like to see the new council take a more active stance.

Any commercial or residential area is only as nice as the poorest kept property. The key reason areas decline is failure of government to help property owners retain their value by requiring those around them to meet minimum standards.

The Grisham Wholesale property, an eyesore by almost any standard, is an important move. But there’s lots more to be done.