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Neighborhood wants filthy pool drained

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BATON ROUGE - A woman is living next to a property that she says hasn't been touched since the August 2016 flood and she's worried it's been forgotten.

The City-Parish says that's not the case, and it's giving the property owner every opportunity it can to take care of the problem themselves.

Connie Crosbie lives in the Park Forest neighborhood of Baton Rouge. Many, if not most of the homes in the neighborhood flooded in August 2016. Next door to her there's a house that's been sitting empty for almost three years. In the backyard of that house is a pool that sits open and has not been maintained. In the front driveway, there's a car that hasn't moved and up until yesterday, the grass was more than a foot high. A broken fence opens the back yard pool to trespassers.

"There's a health hazard," said Crosbie. "I'm concerned."

The Park Forest Community Association has taken initiative by helping to keep the lawn cut and taking the property owner to blight court. In 2018, the property owners were fined, ordered to drain the pool, and clean up the property. The house is still privately owned and the taxes are current and paid.

Since abandoned swimming pools are equipment and human resource-intense, the City-Parish says it does everything it can to get the property owner to take care of the issue first. In this case, the City-Parish says it plans to file suit and take the property owner to court, as it's doing with other properties in the parish.

The City-Parish is also finalizing a contract to do commercial demolition and filling of swimming pools. The private contract is to address blight items that require a lot of equipment and a lot of man power. Since the property owner has not shown interest in following court proceedings, the City-Parish says it could use this new contract to clean up the property and fill in the swimming pool. A lien would be placed on the property when the project is complete.

Change can't come soon enough for Crosbie, who's been waiting three years for something to be done about the danger she sees next door.




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