New Program Brings In Big Bucks To Battle Blight

SPLOST Hearings Scheduled

Ugly and run down, burned out and dangerous, this is what the neighbors are living with on this one block of Carrie Street.

  “It make the whole neighborhood look bad it makes it that you don’t even want to have company at your house it makes you don’t even want  to take Facebook picture because you don’t want this seen in the back ground of it,” says Ladonna Robinson who lives next door to one of the structures.

There are more than 150 of these structures that have received court orders to be torn down. 

Dozens and dozens more are in the pipeline to come down.

“Yet they’re still standing, because the city hasn’t budgeted the dollars to tear them down.  

 “For the previous years we’ve only had about 35 thousand dollars budgeted for demolition last year I was able to be additional funds but that money went very quickly because we have so many homes that need to come down,” says Planning Director Melanie Wilson.

So to find the dollars for the demolition the city is turning to the landfill.

Where nine hundred thousand dollars in landfill funds will be used to bring down a lot more of this blight.

“This is a new level of commitment to cleaning up the city it’s going to be a positive program in the end we’re going to get rid of a lot of blight in the community but from where we were historically it’s probably three times bigger,” says Landfill Director Mark Johnson.

But will using the money for demolitions tear down the landfill’s budget.

 “We pulled those monies out of savings account as we move to the next budget we’ll figure it out from there,” says Johnson. .

But what the city has figure out there’s a lot more dollars to get rid of a lot more of these buildings.

 “Great, Great tear them down we’re waiting,” says Robinson.

The 900 thousand dollars budget includes 150 thousand dollars to cover the costs of a new position and staff to oversee this operation.

For next year the plan is to budget 400 thousand dollars for the enhanced demolition program.

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