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Granite Shoals OKs funds to clean derelict properties, placing liens to recoup money

Granite Shoals property in need of cleanup

The city of Granite Shoals is spending up to $40,000 to clean up three properties after repeated attempts to get the owners to do the work failed to bring about any action. The city is placing liens on the properties in hopes of recovering expenses down the road. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

After repeated efforts, including civil suits, by the city of Granite Shoals to get several properties cleaned up, the council approved spending $40,000 so the city could do the work itself.

During the City Council meeting Tuesday, Nov. 9, Police Chief Gary Boshears showed photos of the properties in question. One has “junked vehicles, boats, Jet Skis, and RVs,” the chief pointed out in the photos taken the day of the meeting.

“We’ve had code enforcement charges and felony charges filed,” he said. “Despite every effort, we’re not getting anything done as far as cleanup. We filed civil suits. There are serious health and safety issues. We can clean it up ourselves and put a lien on it. We’re not getting anywhere with (the property owners). This isn’t something we like to do. It’s a pretty serious safety hazard.”

One of the properties, located at 2010 Elm Creek Drive, is part of the estate of Judy L. Bruce. City staff told the council cleanup will cost about $15,000.

The other properties, Forest Hills Drive and Prairie Creek and Washington Street in Sherwood Shores IV, belong to the Charles Beversdorff estate and his son, Gregory Beversdorff.

The city estimated it would cost $25,000 to clean those lots.

“We have tried to reach out to the owners of the property and work with them,” City Manager Jeff Looney told the council. “We talked to descendants to try to work things out.”

Boshears noted that Gregory Beversdorff is currently in the Burnet County Jail on charges of attempted capital murder. He has been in custody since April 2019. 

Funds for the cleanups would come out of the city’s budget and reserves, but Looney said the city will place liens on the properties to recoup the costs. 

OTHER MEETING BUSINESS

Fire Chief Austin Stanphill told the council the city’s local fire protection received an ISO Public Protection Classification rating of 3 out of 10 with 1 being the best possible score.

The Insurance Service Offices grades fire departments and their communities based on fire protection. The ISO examined the fire department, city water resources, fire hydrants, and the emergency communication system. The ratings come out every eight to 10 years.

Insurance companies use the rating to determine homeowner rates, Stanphill said. 

Looney encouraged homesowners to contact their insurance companies to see if they can get lower rates based on the city’s ISO score. 

“This is extremely important for home insurance,” Looney said. “We’re down in the 3s, which is almost as best as you can get.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com