Council taking action in Tall Pines situation

Published 5:52 pm Thursday, November 15, 2018

The LaGrange City Council is often faced with some of the area’s most pressing concerns, although they don’t always have the governing power to remedy those issues. This often comes up when local schools or roadways managed by other entities are discussed at council meetings.

The situations and concerns raised by citizens can be serious, but the council often has limited authority to address those concerns and are at the mercy of other governing bodies or private companies.

That’s been the case with the Tall Pines Apartments, where living conditions were described as “unlivable” in July by Alton West, director of Community Development for the City of LaGrange.  The council has discussed Tall Pines repeatedly during the last few months, and information from those meetings makes it sound like conditions aren’t improving much.

Residents spoke at Tuesday’s council meeting and said their homes have both worms and mold — along with a laundry list of other complaints. After hearing grievances aired by several residents, the council intervened, saying it had heard enough about the problems at Tall Pines.

The city has no direct way to manage Tall Pines, leaving council members with little choice but to declare the complex a “nuisance,” potentially bringing a municipal court case against units on the property in hopes that will force management to fix ongoing issues.

The council made it clear that it does not want to see the apartments closed, realizing that hundreds of families would be forced out of their homes. Since Tall Pines provides low-income housing, there may not be another affordable place for many of those residents to go.

However, this may be the prodding management needs to get Tall Pines back in line and up to living standards.

We’re hopeful that this latest step might lead to needed changes being made. Based on council feedback, those changes are a necessity for the apartments to remain open and habitable for those who call the complex home.