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Standing water in a drainage ditch behind Decatur Shopping Center.
Daily photo by Brennan Smith
Standing water in a drainage ditch behind Decatur Shopping Center.

Hiding in Plain Sight

Description: A caller complained of overgrown grass and an obstructed ditch on the property between the Decatur Shopping Center and Buena Vista Circle Southeast.

At the edge of the ditch, weeds, some more than 5 feet tall, camouflage the litter and trash around the culvert.

Resulting from the accumulation of weeds and litter, water remains in the ditch and breeds mosquitoes.

Property owner: Morgan County revenue records list Decatur Shopping Center Trust as the property owner. According to records, AmSouth Bank, now Regions Bank, handles the Trustís finances.

Ordinance: Decaturís weed, junk and litter ordinance prohibits the concentration of standing water. The ordinance requires owners to maintain their property so as not to constitute a nuisance, which includes providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

The same ordinance requires property owners to keep grass and weeds at a height no taller than 12 inches.

Responsible officials: The property is in Councilman David Boldingís District 2. Bolding said he would notify the Public Works Department of the situation.

Mark Petersohn, Decaturís engineering and public works director, said the drain is on private property. Ownership doesnít transfer to the city until the drain reaches the alley, which runs west of the property.

Let us know if youíre tired of seeing a dilapidated building, litter, a drainage problem or an eyesore in your neighborhood. Contact Community Developmentís weed, junk and litter hot line at 341-4963. You can also contact the Daily newsroom at 340-2433 or

Catherine Godbey

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