Blighted structures won't last long -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Blighted structures won't last long

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Public Works will demolish another dilapidated building in Albany, Thursday. In addition to that one, 23 others will be demolished by Christmas. City officials say it's all in an effort to make Albany a safer and more beautiful place to live.

Over the past 18 months, 87 buildings have been demolished in Albany, and soon 23 more will be added to that list. But code enforcement says there are many more buildings out there that need attention, but they need the publics help in identifying them.

In some parts of Albany, you don't have to search far to find a dilapidated building. "A dilapidated building is generally one that is open to the general public, doors not secure, windows possibly broken," said Code Enforcement Director Mike Tilson.

And not only are they eyesores to the community, but they can also be dangerous.

"Everyone we get rid of is one less opportunity for people to commit crimes in to do the things that we don't like to talk about," said Tilson.

For years, different departments have worked together, in hopes of achieving a more beautiful Albany. "Currently we have 171 buildings that are on our list of dilapidated buildings we are dealing with.'

23 of those buildings, most of which are old houses are ready for demolition. Right now, city officials are in the process of contracting private companies to complete the work.

"Some of the gangs, the vagrants, the homeless will go into these buildings and find a place to sleep," said Albany resident Elaine Barber.

Tilson asks the public to be patient because these dilapidated buildings don't disappear overnight. "The quickest I've seen is 3 or 4 months, and that is very rare, this is more in terms of a year or two."

Tilson says its an ongoing process. "We have more buildings than the ones we are currently addressing that need our attention."

But with the communities help, those buildings will eventually get the attention they need. 

The Code enforcement department is mostly complaint driven, so if you know of a dilapidated building, check the cities website to see if it is on the list, and if its not dial 311 and report it.

The city attorney averages 6 to 8 cases a month, but this month he may break the record with 11 cases.


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