Town of Jacksboro files lawsuit against Campbell County mayor ov

Town of Jacksboro files lawsuit against Campbell County mayor over property

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Three dilapidated homes are on the property, but are difficult to see because the structures are hidden by dense foliage. Three dilapidated homes are on the property, but are difficult to see because the structures are hidden by dense foliage.
Gary Byrd, Jacksboro's codes enforcer, has been responding to complaints on the property at the intersection of Cove and Water streets since 2009. Gary Byrd, Jacksboro's codes enforcer, has been responding to complaints on the property at the intersection of Cove and Water streets since 2009.
6 News called Mayor Baird and went by his office. He wasn't in and hasn't returned our call. 6 News called Mayor Baird and went by his office. He wasn't in and hasn't returned our call.
 By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

JACKSBORO (WATE) - Claims of derelict and blighted properties end up in court from time to time, but there's a case brewing in Campbell County with a different twist. The town of Jacksboro says the property owner is the county mayor and is now suing to have the property cleaned up.

The town's building inspector and codes enforcer told 6 News he's been responding to complaints about the property since 2009.

The city attorney says County Mayor William Baird repeatedly told city officials he would clean up the property, but nothing's been done, forcing the town of Jacksboro to file suit.


Mike Copeland lives across the street from the property. Three dilapidated homes are on the property, but are difficult to see because the structures are hidden by dense foliage. He's complained repeatedly to town leaders about the blighted property.

“It's a health hazard and a danger. We have kids that actually go in these homes. I've called the authorities several times to have them removed,” said Copeland.

Gary Byrd, Jacksboro's codes enforcer, has been responding to complaints on the property at the intersection of Cove and Water streets since 2009.

“At the main house the porch had fallen in and some of the windows are knocked out,” said Byrd.

Byrd says the property is about an acre and covers a city block. Town attorney Steve Hurst says formal complaints have been issued to Mayor Baird multiple times.

“He has acknowledged to us that he is a responsible party and on numerous occasions said he was going to do something in a week or month but he's never followed through on that,” said Hurst.

Hurst says since no improvements have been made, the city was forced to file a lawsuit.

“It's created a nuisance. It's a health hazard. It's overgrown. Many of the neighbors are complaining. We are going to have the court to order him to do it and if not, if we have to do it, do it at his expense,” said Hurst.

Copeland hopes the property is cleaned up within the next few weeks and would no longer pose a danger.

“Get the over growth cut down and cut back where snake problems and rodents will hopefully move on,” said Copeland.

6 News called Mayor Baird and went by his office. He wasn't in and hasn't returned our call.

6 News looked at records from the property assessor’s office. The property is listed as belonging to Vida Baird.

According to the city attorney, William Baird inherited the land and is responsible for the clean-up.

According to the codes enforcer 95 percent of residents in Jacksboro clean up their property when warned they are in violation of a city ordinance. He says only about 5 percent fail to make improvements and failing to repair or demolish a blighted structure can cause property owners to go to court.

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