The city recently received a Community Development Block Grant to demolish buildings that are beyond repair and create a dangerous environment. The City Council recently awarded a contract to Monroe and Associates to inspect specific properties identified for possible demolition.
Monroe contractor Jim Lanier is inspecting properties and, according to documentation he provided, there are several criteria for determining unsafe buildings.
According to the document, “An unsafe building is any building, mobile home, fence, shed or other man-made structure, or portion thereof, which, because of fire, age, decay, deterioration, structural defects, improper design, termites, obsolescence, abandonment or other causes.”
Lanier said he looks for several issues that help him determine the status of any property he inspects. Any property creating an environment aiding in the spread of disease, vermin or rodents are listed. Property that creates a fire hazard, liable to cause injury or damage due to collapsing is included.
Some properties with open access create what is referred to as “attractive nuisance,” which may prove injurious to the public. An open door on a building may attract individuals to enter the building.
Abandoned properties are also available to and frequented by trespassing “malefactors or disorderly persons.”
Generally, any property that creates danger to the health and safety of any occupants or neighboring residents is included on the list.
Lanier said most of the property he has examined has been abandoned and in such a state of disrepair that it would cost more to make repairs than to demolish the building.
“This drives down the property value of neighbors owning houses near these buildings,” Lanier said.
He said the properties he has inspected “attract vagrants, are eyesores, are unhealthy, and rat infested.”
“It would take $2,000-$3,000 to demolish these buildings, but with the grant they are demolished for free,” Lanier said.
Furnished by the city with a list of possible properties, Lanier said there are 30-35 houses and commercial properties he will examine.
“Anyone living inside the Childersburg city limits should call Sandra Donahoo (city clerk) if they think they have property that may qualify,” he said. “If they qualify. it (demolition) would be free.”
Lanier said once he evaluates the properties he will turn the list over to the council. The council will send out letters to property owners to give them the opportunity to explain why their property shouldn’t be included. Once the process is completed, Lanier said he will post a notice at each location citing the property to be demolished.
Anyone with questions or who think they have property that may be eligible for demolition should call Donahoo at 256-378-5521.
Contact Mark Ledbetter at firstname.lastname@example.org.