ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Thanks to an infusion of money and support Albany's Fight the Blight program is gaining momentum. Nine property owners are being called to court in two weeks, and told to tear down their dilapidated buildings or the city will do it.
A strip of properties on South Monroe Street are filled with trash of all kinds. The smell was so overpowering that we had to cover our noses.
"It's a danger, "said Robert Carter, Chief Code Enforcement Officer. "Sometimes they use the restroom, deficate in these buildings, you will go in and find drug paraphernalia, human feces, most anything is on the floor in there."
A court summons is nailed to the door, "Putting them on notice that we are proceeding with the case, seeking an order to do the demolition if the property owner won't do it," said Carter.
"The other thing we really want to do is move them through the court system faster and to help people understand they need to clean up their property or we will take them to court on it," said Mayor Dorothy Hubbard.
The owner of this building on the 600 block of Holloway is also being summoned to Municipal Court on July 27th.
But the city code enforcer says that doesn't mean they're going to appear. "A lot of these cases are absentee property owners, people who have abandoned and walked away from them, so nobody will show up," said Carter.
City code enforcement say they will be in court, continuing an effort to rapidly rid the city of properties they say are a hazard to health and to quality of life. "The fact we have so many properties that are dilapidated and it does nothing but tear our community down," Hubbard said.
Though it was a public building, and had sentimental value, the former Mamie Brosnan Elementary School was razed as well. Workers are clearing away debris from the demolition at the corner of Monroe and Tift Avenue in downtown Albany.
The structure, built in 1938, has served many purposes, most recently as the MacIntosh Academy. The Dougherty County school system is tearing down this building, and several others, that are beyond repair.
The school system will erect a memorial near the site to remember the historical significance of Mamie Brosnan.
For now, the site will be cleared and will be made available for any future expansion at Lincoln Elementary nearby.
As for those privately owned structures, if a property owner does appear in court, the judge will have to determine if the property is worth saving and if the owner can afford to do it.
The city says once a property is condemned, they will do any asbestos abatement, and then tear the property down and clean up the land.