ALBANY, GA (WALB) – In the next two months, more than 20 dilapidated or blighted properties will be torn down in Albany.
Code enforcement says demolition these homes will not only make a big impact in individual neighborhoods but on the entire city of Albany.
To say Steve Covin is happy to see this house come down, is an understatement. "I'm so happy, go Albany!"
He lives right across from the vacant house on East Society Avenue, but says he hasn't seen anything but trouble near it. "You see people hanging in the yard trying to offer people dope and stuff like that," he said.
Which concerns him for children in the area especially after what he witnessed in front of the house years ago. "I saw a dude get shot right here before," he said.
But soon, almost two dozen homes like this one will be torn down around Albany. "We got about 21 that should be coming down in the next 60 days or so," said Robert Carter, Chief Code Enforcement Officer.
Monday and Tuesday, demolition crews have been set up on East Society Avenue, working on a few of the homes that have been cleared for demolition. "We contracted these out to speed up the process and take care of the blight it is causing in our city," said Carter.
Carter says this demolition project is part of an ongoing effort to rid the city of dilapidated or blighted structures that may lead to illegal activities. "Most of these homes are open to the public which creates a hazard to kids and people walking down the street because you don't know what's in there," he said.
And in this weather, fires caused by vagrants can be another major hazard. "Homeless people will go in an effort to stay warm, they will try and build a little fire and unfortunately most of the time it sets the house on fire," he said.
But these demolitions not only help clean up individual neighborhoods, but the entire city of Albany. "By tearing down these houses, it makes the neighborhood look safer," said Covin.
And one safer neighborhood is all it takes for a safer Albany. Demolishing these houses will cost the city around $90,000.