Commission hears report on dilapidated building project

Debbie Rolen drolen@civitasmedia.com

November 10, 2013

Ray Perry gave the Logan County Commission a report on the dilapidated building project and the progress being made.

“At the last meeting, the total of houses remaining was 363. Since then, six more have been removed. One I did leave off was Chatman Funeral Home. It wasn’t on our list, but it was completely destroyed by fire. They were pretty expeditious in removing that one, so it should be seven. There was a lull for some time where there were none removed, but it’s starting to pick back up,” said Perry, “I don’t know if it’s a seasonal thing where they are able to get contractors or what it is, but it’s starting to pick back up again now, with people starting to take their own houses down and cleaning up their own property.”

Commissioner Danny Ellis asked, “How many notices have gone out to property owners who have these structures?”

County Administrator Roscoe “Rocky” Adkins answered Ellis, saying, “We are at eighty-plus that are out and identified and actually posted. We are getting ready to do a legal ad to be able to do asbestos testing on those parcels so we can move to the next step. Hopefully, I think, in the spring, we will probably have a whole list of 40-80 houses that will be ready for bid.”

Ellis asked Perry and Adkins if they know how many structures out in the county people are going to tear on their own without any type of notice.

Adkins answered saying, “Our notices actually created the action for most of what has been torn down. When we do the next wave of notices, I feel like we will have a more [people]tear them down because once they get that notice, they sense they may lose their property so they people tear them down on their own.”

Another issue being taken into consideration is cost effectiveness. Perry said they are making sure they are able to process all the dilapidated structures in an area all at one time, rather than have to come back time after time.

“We want to make sure that they can’t come back and say they weren’t given due process as far as the notification process is concerned. It can be a lengthy process,” said Perry.

Perry said well over a 100 Logan County structures have been removed.

Commission President Danny Godby said, “We have a lot of good citizens who saw the problem and eradicated the problem by tearing down their structures. Those people need praised, too. Those people who saw the need and saw everyone else doing theirs, it’s like a chain reaction. One did it, then another and another. It is looking much better. Unfortunately, there are going to be those who hold on until the very end and have to be forced to do it.”

Perry said four structures along Route 44 were recently been taken down through the hazard mitigation program and another really large structure was taken down the owner and taken down by hand. He said, “You have to really commend those people, who go ahead and take action before they are even notified.”

Adkins said he is close to releasing information on the recent county clean-up, which is a program that goes hand in hand with the dilapidated buildings project.