Council wants Hammett charged if right-of-way not cleared

The Cairo city council wants the city police and building department to begin issuing citations to Jimmy Hammett, owner of A&R Metals, if he continues to store scrap and salvage material on the city’s right-of-way on 20th Street.
During Monday night’s council meeting, Councilman James H. (Jimmy) Douglas asked council attorney Thomas L. Lehman for an update. Earlier, Lehman said he would research previous court action taken by the city against A&R Metals.
“All I know is it’s getting worse,” Douglas said.
Lehman said there is no question that the city owns the right-of-way and noted that in 2005 the city condemned and paid the Hammetts $180 “to get it squared away.”
“If he is not complying with the law, then he should get a citation,” Lehman said.
Councilman Jerry Cox asked what the fine associated with such a citation would be and Lehman responded, “not much.”
“It’s basically a littering case you’re making against him,” Lehman said, adding, “Maybe $600 on repeat violations.”
The city has been battling with A&R Metals since the 1990s in an attempt to maintain a clear right-of-way on 20th Street. According to Lehman, in the 1990s there was some question as to where the right-of-way was, but he says now there is no question where the right-of-way is located and that the city owns that property.

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