Building painted in response to citation

Published 11:22 am Saturday, March 26, 2011

The owner of this Boykins building in 2009 received a citation to repair flaking paint. This is how owner Tommy Wyatt painted the Main Street buildng. -- EMILY COLLINS | TIDEWATER NEWS


BOYKINS—Owner Tommy Wyatt went all out after a town official cited him for flaking paint and other problems with the Main Street property.

It all started on Feb. 23, 2009, when former Boykins Property Maintenance Officer Mark Mathais cited Wyatt and gave him 60 days to paint the former Fisher Auto Parts building, which he uses for an auto repair shop.

“There was several other violations on that piece of property; the painting was one of the main ones,” Mayor Spier Edwards said.

Shortly after the citation was issued, Mathais resigned to move to Virginia Beach, and Boykins had to train a new public works supervisor, who is also the property maintenance officer, Edwards said.

All of that took time, and the citation was not followed up on properly, he said.

About six months ago, Jerry Hannah, the current public works supervisor and property maintenance officer for Boykins, spoke with Wyatt because the building had not been painted. He asked Wyatt if he had plans for the building, and Wyatt told him he was going to start painting.

Soon after that, the building got its spots, Edwards said.

He said he was “surprised” when he saw the colorful new paint job, but added Boykins has “no rules or regulations on what color he has to paint (the building).”

Wyatt was not at the building when The Tidewater News visited on Friday, and a phone number for him could not be obtained. His brother, who lives in Chesapeake, was contacted in hopes of reaching Wyatt.

Edwards said the building contrasts with plans to beautify Boykins.

“We don’t want to make any one person a target,” he said. “We are trying to improve the looks of the town.”

Bertha Artis, who manages Sunoco gas station across the street from the building, said she doesn’t mind the paint job.

“It’s all right,” she said. “It doesn’t bother me.”

She is asked about the building every so often; a lot of people assume it’s a daycare center.

Artis said she thinks most people in the town don’t care for the dotted decor.

“If they are going to beautify the town, they are going to have to do something about it,” she said.

Edwards said the town is starting to review all citations issued by Mathais.

“We are going to be opening files and taking actions on those violations,” Edwards said.