Augusta City Leaders Look to Individuals to Tear Down Old Houses

Augusta, GA – Augusta city leaders are pushing to get dilapidated houses torn down in Augusta by the end of the year.

The city is launching a new program that will give individual contractors a chance to bid on more than 100 different houses that are ready to be demolished.

“First impression is usually a lasting impression,” said Bill Fennoy, Augusta Commissioner for District 1.

This is not the how Commissioner Bill Fennoy wants people to capture the Garden City.

“When people ride through the city of Augusta, they see a lot of dilapidated houses, they form an opinion of Augusta based on what they see, that is not what Augusta is all about,” said Fennoy.

A new program that will speed up the process of demolishing these old houses is taking off this month.

“The city currently has 161 properties waiting to be demolished and we needed a funding source, so {the department of} environmental services has stepped up with $900,000 between now and the end of the year to tear down these dilapidated structures,” said Mark Johnson, Director of Environmental Services.

Commissioners originally had $35,000 in the budget this year to take down the homes, but the structures weren’t coming down fast enough.

“We have so much work and such a tight schedule, we wanted to unbundle the contracts, award them as individual projects, so we could get more people working,” said Johnson.

Now, contractors will get the opportunity to bid on these projects, and choose which homes, and how many, they want to tear down. The first list of bids has 12 houses on it, and the city will gradually come up with more lists as the year progresses.

“A lot of the local vendors will be able to make some money with the city, and this will give them an opportunity to get their foot in the door, and find out working with the city is not a hard thing to do,” said Fennoy.

The first round of bids is due July 30th, and the city will award the contracts to the lowest bidders shortly after. Johnson said those first structures should be down within 45 days after the bids are awarded.

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