Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Woodson Scott is using her discretionary funds to cleanup abandoned properties in District 1.
The district covers parts of west and southwest Louisville. There are dozens of vacant properties in that area, and the newly-appointed lawmaker is targeting three dozen of the most dilapidated in her Cleanup for Christmas campaign.
Scott is using $5,000 out of her discretionary account to pay overtime for Public Works employees to cut grass and perform other maintenance on the vacant houses. Many abandoned properties are owned by banks or absentee landlords, and Scott hopes to recoup some of the cleanup costs from the owners.
“My office has already called in to Public Works to say ‘When you find out who owns these properties and you bill them, we actually want that money returned back to District 1 so we can do service in other parts of our district,” she says.
The city has struggled to assert its power over out-of-state banks that don’t maintain property they’ve acquired through foreclosures.
“You know, actually, our city needs to do a better job of holding them accountable and saying it is not okay to leave this kind of blight in neighborhoods,” says Scott. “That’s one of the initiatives I’m hoping comes out of this Cleanup for Christmas is to say to our city that we’ve got to have a heavy hand on these banks and slum landlords to condemn property when we need to, demolish it when we need to and turn it over to the land bank when we need to.”
Scott’s cleanup will be held tomorrow and the two subsequent Fridays.