J-Town residents express concern over rat infested property


by Maggie Ruper


Posted on November 20, 2013 at 9:59 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- Jeffersontown residents attended a city council meeting on Tuesday night to express concern over an old, abandoned swim club they say is not only an eyesore, but it’s infested with rats that are moving into their neighborhood.

Mary Beth Hewitt said she found two large rats “just in the last three months.”

Most of the homes directly affected back up to the old property from St. Edwards Drive, but another resident who lives on Boones Grove Way, nearly a mile down the road, said his neighbor has also found rats.

Dewey Crawford said his neighbor reported trapping four rodents during the month of October.

“Large rats,” he said.

To the surprise of many, the Mayor reported that the Metro Health Department has been out to the property within the last 10 days to investigate, but he said they did not find any signs of infestation.

John Noble said that one person from the Health Department examining the property for 10-20 minutes is quite different than the experience those that live with the situation everyday face.

“You can’t tell me you’re just going to say ‘we didn’t find anything’ and be done with it,” he said.

The city has also tried to work with the property owner.

“We've actually gone in and started cutting the grass our self and put a lien against the property for the expense of cutting the grass,” said Councilman Ray Perkins.

The Mayor said it would take nearly $800,000 to buy and potentially renovate the property into a park, but residents said they want the rats taken care of first.

Councilman Perkins said he believes the city needs to strengthen its ordinances to force owners to keep properties up to acceptable standards.

The issue is expected to be addressed on Thursday during a planning and zoning meeting.