Under watchful eye

Property owners in the vicinity of this property on Murphy Road aired their concerns to County commissioners regarding the living conditions and “activities” that occur at the property. Commissioners called a special meeting for Thursday to address the issue.

Aransas County commissioners, at their regular meeting Monday, Sept. 9, heard concerns from Murphy Road property owners regarding the condition of the property at 2120 Murphy, as well as unwanted activity.

After hearing the deep concerns from six individuals, Aransas County Judge C.H. ‘Burt” Mills said, “We can’t discuss this (because it’s not on the agenda), but you have been heard.”

The judge noted the county has taken action behind the scenes, and he has visited the area with the Aransas County Sheriff’s Office.

A few hours after Monday’s meeting concluded, the court posted a special meeting for 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12 to take official action.

The agenda for that meeting includes:

• Discuss, approve, or disapprove issuing notices of Public Nuisance to properties on Murphy Road in Aransas Pass, TX under Commissioners Court Order #0-10 2018, (Revised Abatement of Public Nuisance Ordinance).

• Discuss, approve, or disapprove filing a lawsuit against property owners on Murphy Road for Public Nuisances under Commissioners Court Order #0-10-2018, (Revised Abatement of Public Nuisance Ordinance).

• Discuss, approve, or disapprove Mills’ exercising County’s Order #0-10-2018 in regard to alleged public nuisance issues and complaints about safety, health, and fire, procedure, program, or service.

Monday’s meeting

The first property owner to speak said there have been two fires at the property the past two weeks, and four or five in the past four or five months.

“There are some unsafe conditions out there and a number of us are afraid our houses will burn,” he said. “We’re asking that you get the fire marshal out there. If the court requests, a state fire marshal will come out.”

He noted the electric breaker boxes are improperly wired and will never trip, which can lead to fires.

“Wires are strung through the trees,” he said “It’s a super dangerous situation.”

“There’s stuff that goes on out there night and day. It’s a bad situation.”

A female property owner said the situation has worsened since Hurricane Harvey.

“There’s prostitution, people passed out in the ditch, sex in the ditch, and trespassing (on neighbors’ property),” she said.

“They’re making drugs. It smells a lot like cat piss.

“Obviously, there are drug sales.

“Dogs are running at large.

“The living conditions are unhealthy.

“There are garbage and sewer issues, fights, shootings and stabbings.”

She also noted her husband left their home recently to go to the store and law enforcement was taking pictures of an automatic weapon in the street.

“And that’s just since the hurricane,” she said.

“I’ve requested information about the number of calls to that property since Harvey. I should get (that information in less than a week).”

Another neighbor said he believes the property’s owner is the problem.

“I’m beyond being frustrated,” he said. “You have a serious, serious problem.

“I don’t want anyone’s civil rights and civil liberties violated … but when it spill out to us …”

He noted the property at 2120 Murphy is dragging down the value of adjacent properties.

“The fire marshal hasn’t been out there one time,” he said.

Another property owner said he has five children, and finds it hard to explain to them what is going on at the property in question.

“Last year when we were heading to school there was lady bleeding and lying in the ditch,” he said. “When we got back she was still there.

“It’s very dangerous.”

He recalled incidents involving gunfire noting, “One guy got shot while in a pickup truck.”

He said he owns AR-15 guns, and said, “Thank God I didn’t’ get up at night (when the altercations occurred) or I’d be in jail.

“The violence is spilling out into the street.

“I’ve led a crack head off my property at gunpoint and held her until (law enforcement) arrived.”

He said the woman looked at him, as she was being taken away, and said, “I’ll (be back in three or four days).”

Another property owner told commissioners, “(Based on current law) I’m formally requesting an investigation by the fire marshal.

“That must happen if requested.

“I’m concerned about personal property and lives.”

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