HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The city of Hattiesburg is working to clean up the city and improve safety.
"(We're looking) at areas in our city that are not as clean as they need to be," Mayor Johnny DuPree said. "It has to do with safety because a clean city, a well-lighted city is safer. There is an emotional side of it, but it is actually safer. People feel better, and it's more inviting."
The city said its code enforcement division has been actively out in communities to assess what areas need improvements.
"We're assessing all parts of our city to try to make sure we're as clean as we can," DuPree said. "We want to make sure that the owners of our properties that have properties, apartment complexes and whatever else, that they impress upon those who live in there, the tenants, that we need to keep it clean."
Jamisha Rice lives in Plantation Place Apartments, and said she sees trash and broken items throughout the complex daily.
"The management don't come fix what they (are) supposed to," Rice said. "We have water leaks. They don't do nothing about it."
Rice said a water meter outside of her apartment has been leaking for three months, and she said she has seen a major spike in her water bills.
"You call them and ask them to come fix something," she said. "They take days, and they don't even come fix it. And the maintenance man be riding around all day."
Rice said she was happy to see code enforcement staff actively patrolling her neighborhood and hopes the city's presence leads to change.
"Fix the (problems) inside of their buildings. Like if something is (torn) up, they need to come fix it," Rice said.
DuPree said, "Not only is it safety, it's a health issue. Safety issue, health issue, all those things that make a city a great city."