Money For Removing Rundown Buildings Runs Out

Commission To Vote On Downtown Safety Plan (Image 1)

Empty lots and not rundown buildings, thanks to $500 thousand dollars commissioners approved last year to tear down dozens and dozens of blighted buildings.

Including three on Brown Street.

“It certainly did help we removed roughly 96 properties dilapidated structures it made a big impact, says Rob Sherman of License and Inspection.

But Fred Davis knows the city hasn't solved this problem he sees if when he walks the neighborhood.

“They've got a long way to go I've been in this neighborhood 12th and Gordon Street close to seven years and the same houses are still sitting here,” said Davis. 

 But more houses are slated to go in April the city went to court to get permission to tear down nearly 70.  

 It is going to take more time to get rid of these additional eyesores and even though the commission approved a half million dollars for demolition just nine months ago, it's also going to take a lot more money.

“We've actually spent that $500 thousand dollars so we'll be going back to the commission to see if they have additional funds for the demolitions.

Sherman says there are hundreds of buildings that could be torn down, if the money was available. 

 “Need another 500 thousand,” said Davis.

But when it comes to tearing down abandoned buildings that's easier said than done.

” At this point that would have to be a decision the commission made, at this point I don't have any additional funding available for that I would recommend,” says City Administrator Fred Russell.

The abandoned buildings are still there but the dollars to get rid of them are no longer. 

Commissioners found the funds for the 500 thousand dollars as part of the one point six million dollars in surplus left over in the 2011 budget so the funding was seen as a one shot deal.

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