Ready to Move On

Last week, an impromptu meeting was called to discuss the fate of the late Jane Howard’s property. Months earlier, Jane’s property was the center of a heated debate. Her house was condemned and scheduled for demolition when Bradley County Commissioner Howard Thompson stepped in. Over the next few weeks, Thompson pulled together a group of volunteers and secured a grant to bring the house back to code.

Now that Jane has died, her brother Gene is left deciding what to do with it. During the meeting held at the Community Services Agency headquarters, Gene gave what he considered a good solution.

“What I’d like to see is the mess taken care of and the County or the City or whatever [the Community Services Agency] stands for do anything you want to with that property,” Gene said. “With no strings attached.”

Via phone conference, Bradley County Attorney Joe Byrd said he appreciated the kind gesture and hoped the property could be revitalized in a timely fashion. Director of the Community Services Agency Harry Johnson was particularly excited about the possibility, as he would like to build affordable housing on the property’s four lots and begin a revitalization in the area.

“I’d like to see that property brought back into the housing stock,” he said. “I guess there is maybe some personal interest. I originally lived right across the street from [Jane Howard], her mother and her sister, and we talked a lot across the fence. There are a lot of memories there for me.”

If Gene Howard follows through and the Community Services Agency plays their cards right, many more happy memories could be made on the Howard property in the coming years.

Published in Bradley News Weekly.