Trashing East Texas: Highway 155 At CR 168

In the middle of Noonday, on busy Highway 155, across from the "Blue Store" is a large plot of land and what used to be Red Acker's Seafood and Steakhouse. The remaining rubble and other trash left behind has been an eyesore to the community for the past five years.

"I traveled the country for 20 years with my husband in the Marine Corps," Rhonda Reagan, who drives past the property every day, said. "Out of all the places we could retire to, we picked Tyler and Smith County because of its natural beauty. And it just really bothers me to see it trashed the way that it is."

Reagan lives and works nearby. She hates to see the debris in such plain view of people driving through Noonday.

After the restaurant burned down, the owner, John Acker, started manufacturing wooden pallets on his land. According to the mayor, that goes against city ordinance. So the city sued Acker. The outcome of that lawsuit is still pending.

Acker has since moved his pallet business elsewhere and put his property on the market for sale.

As for the mess he left behind, he would not talk on camera, but did say this: "I will clean up the mess in my own time. But the people of Noonday will not tell me when to clean it up."

Mayor Mike Turman also would not talk on camera, but told us, according to city ordinance, the building still needs to be torn down because it's burned beyond repair.

"I would love to see the seafood place come back," Reagan said. "It was a good seafood place, lots of good food, had a good reputation. But I don't know that that'll ever happen. But at the very minimum, I would just like the building torn down and just the lot cleaned up."

Noonday does not have a nuisance abatement ordinance for commercial property.

Julie Tam, reporting. jtam@kltv,com