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franklin county times

McBride: Dirty ditch example of mayor's lack of action

By Staff
DITCH  Independent mayoral candidate Bill McBride points to a cluttered ditch on Fifth Street, which he says is an example of the inadequate services provided by the city. Photo by Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
By Ben Alexander/The Meridian Star
May 31, 2001
Independent mayoral candidate Bill McBride said Wednesday a dirty ditch near the "S" curve on Fifth Street is more than just an eyesore, it's an example of Mayor John Robert Smith's lack of action.
Smith said McBride is wrong.
Luvenia Hodges, who lives nearby, said snakes crawl out of the ditch and into her yard.
McBride said the name of the area, "Project Pride," is ironic.
According to Smith, Hodges' own home is a good example of Project Pride renovation work.
According to city documents, $20,021 was spent on Hodges' home in 1994. Those documents also show the city helped to rehabilitate 13 other homes besides Hodges' in the neighborhood. The city also bought and demolished 15 vacant, dilapidated houses in the neighborhood and paid for the relocation of five families to better homes.
The total cost for the project was $816,000. The city spent $24,000 for the revitalization work with the other $792,000 coming from federal grants.
Smith said he has given Hodges advice on how to solve the ditch dilemma, pay to have the city pipe the ditch and cover the unsightly problem.
Ben Alexander is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3226, or e-mail him at balexander@themeridianstar.com.