Pigeons and Other Violations at A-1 Pallets | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Pigeons and Other Violations at A-1 Pallets

City code enforcement performed a site inspection of A-1 Pallets on Mill Street this morning, one day after Municipal Judge Melvin Priester signed a search and inspection warrant for the business.

A-1 Pallet employees refused entry to city code inspectors and the fire department Tuesday morning. Business owner Charlotte Reeves claims that police insisted a flock of reporters enter with them, though Code Enforcement Manager Joe Lewis said he had not made such a demand.

Inspectors went back and got a warrant and attempted to serve it Wednesday night, but no employees were visible after business hours.

Police, inspectors, Deputy Fire Marshal Michael Sterling, Deputy City Attorney Jonathan Walker, Officer Sidney Gladney and other city officials were on hand Thursday morning to give it another try, however. Code enforcement officers said they found numerous violations, though Gladney would not elaborate.

Tony LeBlanc, a friend of Reeves who tailed officers as they scrutinized the grounds, said officers had listed violations such as blocked doors, an inaccessible fire lane, broken windows and the presence of pigeons, among other violations.

"The building passed code inspections last year, with the same structures in place and in the same state. Heck, even the pigeons were here. I don't know what made it different this time," LeBlanc said.

Melton declared war on A-1 Pallets this week, telling department heads that he didn't "want to see (A-1 Pallets) sitting there at the end of the year." Removing the company may be an uphill battle, however. A-1 Pallets occupies an old soybean mill--from which Mill Street gets its name--inside the Historic Farish Street District. The look of the mill is protected by the Department of Archives and History, among other agencies, so tearing it down could cost would-be developers valuable federal grant money.

Reeves maintains that the business earns the city about $40,000 a year in property taxes and argues that it was never meant to look pretty.

"It's in an industrial area. There's a railroad yard across the street. What are they expecting it to be?" Reeves demanded.

Previous Comments

ID
92496
Comment

TUNE IN!!! Charlotte Reeves on Kim Wade show with us today 1180 a.m. 5:05pm. 601 366 1180.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2007-05-17T16:04:52-06:00
ID
92497
Comment

Perhaps I'm mistaken, but it appears that Mr. Melton's priorities may be misplaced here. Is the removal of this building so important that the loss of federal grant money for the entire area is offset by its removal? Somehow, I fear that Melton may be charging up the wrong street yet again.

Author
tombarnes
Date
2007-05-17T16:18:27-06:00
ID
92498
Comment

You can't even see the pallet company from the bricked part of Farish. How about "the committee" worry about getting that right. Then we can work on the other end. Come on let's be real here...

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-05-17T16:24:51-06:00
ID
92499
Comment

I have no illusions about the architectural merit of this building. What I'm concerned about is whether or not it is, in fact, in the historic district. If it is, then its demolition would jeopardize funds for the rest of the district.

Author
tombarnes
Date
2007-05-17T16:49:11-06:00
ID
92500
Comment

Tried to call, but the line was busy. "It's in an industrial area. There's a railroad yard across the street. What are they expecting it to be?" Reeves demanded. That's what I'm wondering. This isn't a hair salon. It's a pallet company.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-17T16:54:05-06:00
ID
92501
Comment

I smell new apartments and houses going up in that area. Mysterious investers buying all those properties around Farish street and upper income people moving into the area. Working close to workplace is the new thing. If those people who live there now think they are going to get housing I have a piece of land to sell them LOL. This is not funny but lets be realistic Melton is up to no good with all this demolition talk. I hope the council isn't buying into these plans.

Author
jada
Date
2007-05-17T16:59:34-06:00
ID
92502
Comment

If those people who live there now think they are going to get housing I have a piece of land to sell them LOL. You have a point. I don't believe that those houses with brick walls and wood floors will be easily available to them. I think if they do sell them the homes, they'll have an ARM that will skyrocket shortly thereafter. I hope they prove me wrong.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-17T17:09:28-06:00
ID
92503
Comment

"The building passed code inspections last year, with the same structures in place and in the same state. Heck, even the pigeons were here. I don't know what made it different this time," LeBlanc said. That's definitely inconsistent. If it was a problem now, it should have been a problem then. I do agree that emergency exits should be accessible, but as far as the pigeons are concerned, would they have a problem with Wal-Mart or any local grocery store? Lord knows I've seen birds flying through the rafters in the morning.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-17T17:15:04-06:00
ID
92504
Comment

A good City with good leaders would offer them a land swap further back in the industrial district or around the I-220 area. This is very selfish and clearly insane. You do not dictate the citizens nor their businesses this way. Either offer them good money to move or give them equitable value in land and equipment to continue doing business. Does Melton own stock in a national pallet company or something? They probably just want this land to use as a staging area for construction of the other projects. Then it may get redeveloped once they are done - in 8 years. This is nothing but a railroad job. Where is the Downtown Rotary or other organizations she may be a member of? (Chamber, MEC, etc...) It's really sad they sit by and watch this crap go on! Actually shameful!

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-05-17T17:21:55-06:00
ID
92505
Comment

This entire thing seems strange. But what else is new about the Melton administration?

Author
GLewis
Date
2007-05-17T18:30:07-06:00
ID
92506
Comment

Frankie-boy has his machine in place. You think he cares about rules anymore?

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-05-17T18:32:16-06:00
ID
92507
Comment

Oh yeah...another caller said that everyone should pick up a copy of the JFP because they're the only ones that tell the truth. Wow.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-17T18:34:40-06:00
ID
92508
Comment

This is nothing but a railroad job. Where is the Downtown Rotary or other organizations she may be a member of? (Chamber, MEC, etc...) It's really sad they sit by and watch this crap go on! Actually shameful! Pike, I think a lot of them are afraid. Of what? I have no clue.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-17T18:36:07-06:00
ID
92509
Comment

I wonder whether or not a new proposal will suface here with Gene Phillips' name on it? I hope the city chooses HRI for the Standard Life Building. Back on topic, however, this whole demolition blitz doesn't seem right. Melton could ruin it for everyone if he unleashes the sledgehammer crews.

Author
tombarnes
Date
2007-05-17T18:49:56-06:00
ID
92510
Comment

Maybe we should just rename the city Melton Phillips, kinda like the singing group.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-17T18:56:49-06:00
ID
92511
Comment

After seeing all the criminals that Melton surrounds himself with, I checkup on every city vehicle that comes down my street. I wonder what part of DHS is supposed to inspect a house where teenagers are placed Frank Melton's personal foster care system.

Author
Slider
Date
2007-05-17T21:07:00-06:00
ID
92512
Comment

Kim Wade mentioned that house, and he said that the house should be torn down since he's breaking the ordinance that says you can only have a certain number of unrelated people living in the same house. Wade also said something about Jim Crow 2007 right here in Jackson except that it's black folks this time, and that we'll all be standing over barrels trying to keep warm at the rate we're going. He also expressed his dissatisfaction for Melton's C-L letter. This whole situation does feel like a throwback to the sixties to me. We shall overcome...

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-17T21:15:21-06:00
ID
92513
Comment

IT looks like WLBT got some info from the inspectors that is alarming if you are a business owner! The Reeves say they employ about forty. They also plan to grind down the old pallets and turn them into mulch, but city inspectors say the violations they found inside were so great, they're recommending the entire 5 acre plant be demolished. So, you have a few code violations and your business gets torn down. Hello, Council?

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-05-18T08:57:45-06:00
ID
92514
Comment

First it was the Upper Level, now its A-1 Pallets. Wake up Jackson. There is a method to his madness - Uncle Frank is systematically taking over Jackson and somebody will profit it from it but it definitely will not be the citizens. Has anyone noticed a strong odor and noticeable distaste in Jackson's water in the last few weeks? Or is it just me?

Author
lanier77
Date
2007-05-18T10:22:05-06:00
ID
92515
Comment

Hey Guys, Let's stay focus and stick with what is best for the City of Jackson. I know FM is stupid and not professional. But, I hope we can all will agree that A-1 Pallet is an eye sore. Therefore, this location does need to be heavily regulated to be in compliance. I understand and appreciate the tax base A-1 is providing, but we got to change the culture & image of Jackson. If A-1 mean any good to that area, they would clean it up. Stay focus people. Now don't get me wrong, FM is clueless in getting this done.

Author
Roc
Date
2007-05-18T10:31:51-06:00
ID
92516
Comment

So, you have a few code violations and your business gets torn down. Hmph. I read the WLBT report. Besides seeing how badly this article needs to be edited, I noticed this: City inspectors say the land A-1 pallets sits on, is zoned for a different use. Larry Lindsey says, "We went through zoning and this is listed as a store, a s-t-o-r-e, this is not a store." something the reeves[sp] were not aware of. We can't just take his word for that, right? The proof is in the pudding. Where's the documentation that shows this, and even if the building is zoned to be a store, why do you have to tear the whole place down? I thought this place used to be a soybean mill. When did it become a store? Community Improvement Director Joe Lewis says, "Everything was a hazard there were multiple safety and health factors that concern us, mosquitos rodents pideon[sp] droppings everywhere." I really hope they fix that sentence but anyway...When has a building ever been demolished because it was dirty? If that's the case, I need to demolish my desk. All they need is an exterminator and some Clorox. Let me also point out that on Kim Wade's show yesterday, Charlotte Reeves said that they were not there when the inspectors showed up, and the employee would not let them in because it's not his property. He tried to call the Reeves but their cell phone was turned off. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if there was a lookout who alerted the inspectors when the Reeves left the property.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-18T10:31:59-06:00
ID
92517
Comment

Has anyone noticed a strong odor and noticeable distaste in Jackson's water in the last few weeks? Or is it just me? lanier, we were talking about that in another thread. Pikersam, do you still have that link?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-18T10:41:35-06:00
ID
92518
Comment

Roc, it is an eye sore. But, it is a business. Do you know how big the pallet business is? A guy I knew in another state lived in a $400,000 home, and all he did is sell(lease) pallets to companies in his territory. Huge business! It's like complaining about 18 wheelers on the highway. They do provide us our groceries. That said, it is an ugly property. That is why good cities find ways to help the business owner move to another location when they need to redevelop an area. Isn't River Hills getting a huge tax break so they wouldn't move? They same can work the other way. A huge tax or land cost break to move. Offer fair market value for the land. Anything but the mafia tactics of Melton and his clique. I highly doubt the Code Officers are even qualified to make sound code enforcement decisions.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-05-18T10:44:28-06:00
ID
92519
Comment

I forget where we were talking about the water. (City Shuffle?) Just follow the bad smell! ;-)

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-05-18T10:50:03-06:00
ID
92520
Comment

I highly doubt the Code Officers are even qualified to make sound code enforcement decisions. How long has Joe Lewis held that position?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-18T10:52:37-06:00
ID
92522
Comment

Well Joe seems like a sharp guy. But, I was thinking more of the crew he has with him that helps with the Code sweeps. Are they trained in OSHA? Do they need to be? Are they wearing proper equipment to enter some of these dwellings? Hardhats? Eye safety wear? Steel toe boots? I'm not sure of the rules; but, I know the Fed's are serious about how they do things.

Author
pikersam
Date
2007-05-18T11:04:24-06:00
ID
92521
Comment

You're right, Pike. It was in the City Hall Shuffle discussion. Jump in, lanier.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-18T11:04:43-06:00
ID
92523
Comment

The pallet place can't be as bad as the abandoned La Quinta in south Jackson :P

Author
Michele
Date
2007-05-21T09:14:08-06:00
ID
92524
Comment

Michele, how long has the LaQuinta over there been closed? At least the building where the pallet company is is occupied, and the owners are employing people, paying taxes, etc.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-21T09:36:57-06:00
ID
92525
Comment

Which reminds me - whatever happened with the Tarrymore Motel fiasco? I haven't heard anything else about that.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-21T09:40:57-06:00
ID
92526
Comment

The hotels been closed since around the late 2003 I believe. I went over and looked at it last year - its used by vagrants, there is drug paraphernalia, dead animals, and the pool is hard to describe. Now it looks like part of it is falling down - does the city care about this though? NO! Its just what half the people who go through Jackson drive past. Also it has residential homes right behind it.

Author
Michele
Date
2007-05-21T10:25:35-06:00
ID
92527
Comment

The hotels been closed since around late 2003 I believe. I went over and looked at it last year - its used by vagrants, there is drug paraphernalia, dead animals, and the pool is hard to describe. Now it looks like part of it is falling down - does the city care about this though? NO! Its just what half the people who go through Jackson drive past. Also it has residential homes right behind it.

Author
Michele
Date
2007-05-21T10:25:51-06:00
ID
92528
Comment

The hotels been closed since around late 2003 I believe. I went over and looked at it last year - its used by vagrants, there is drug paraphernalia, dead animals, and the pool is hard to describe. Now it looks like part of it is falling down - does the city care about this though? NO! Its just what half the people who go through Jackson drive past. Also it has residential homes right behind it. What a shame. That's kind of stuff Melton should be making a stink about. I mean, if A-1 Pallets should be closed down because of pigeons and mosquitoes, what about residents who have a pest problem in their homes? Should big guys with sledgehammers follow exterminator trucks around so they can tear up each house they go to?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-05-21T10:34:14-06:00

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

comments powered by Disqus