Citizens can do their part to boost LCRA progress

Saturday, June 23, 2018

As summer’s growing season gets into full bloom, several abandoned and empty lots in Sikeston become eyesores with tall weeds and trees.

But the city is addressing these properties more aggressively this year. There is a full-scale approach to mowing and trimming problem properties than in the past.

But before we discuss weeds and tall grass, it’s important to remember where our community was just 10 short years ago.

Sikeston residents in 2004 approved funding for the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority which was designed to address condemned structures that had long been abandoned.

These rattraps were becoming havens for drug use, homeless vagrants and criminal activity. They also greatly impacted nearby property values.

So in the past decade, literally hundreds of condemned structures have been demolished.

As a result, our community looks much better and neighborhoods are much safer. I can only imagine how we would look had voters not approved the formation of LCRA.

But there remains plenty of work ahead.

Residents can play a role in this community improvement as well.

Empty and abandoned lots in some locations have unfortunately become dumping grounds for old furniture and other associated trash.

If a citizen spots some of these impromptu dump heaps, call city hall. Alert officials who can address these issues before they become a larger problem.

And if one of these empty lots happens to sit next to your home and you can find a purpose for that lot (garden plot, playground, etc.) contact the city. These lots are for sale at a very affordable cost.

Developers have been reluctant to purchase these lots for future home sites because often the adjoining properties are showing signs of age and decay. We understand the financial side of development and understand that reluctance.

Yet by any measure, the city has taken a proactive approach to our community’s appearance and the results are visible.

With additional community involvement, we can make more progress and make Sikeston a more welcoming environment for residents and newcomers alike.

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