Albany moves forward to demolish blighted properties - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany moves forward to demolish blighted properties

The court gained legal right to demolish several blighted properties in Albany. (Source: WALB) The court gained legal right to demolish several blighted properties in Albany. (Source: WALB)
Nathan Davis (Source: WALB) Nathan Davis (Source: WALB)
The demolition on a structure on Clark Avenue was started this past weekend. (Source: WALB) The demolition on a structure on Clark Avenue was started this past weekend. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The fight against blight is continuing in Albany.

This past weekend, city leaders kicked off of an initiative to Fight Albany Blight with a community cleanup.

Now, they're continuing their focus on building the city up by bringing some buildings down.

City attorney Nathan Davis says structures that aren't code compliant across Albany are a public health and safety concern and serve as an invitation for vagrants.

He wants to see them come down sooner rather than later.

"In my humble opinion, no matter where the structure is when it hits the ground whether its north, south, east, or west Albany, it really benefits the entire community when these structures literally are demolished, figuratively and literally, it's just better," Davis said.

First, the courts have to give the city permission to move forward with demolition, if property owners can't or won't. Davis says the process of getting these cases to court can be labor intensive.

"There's no way to summarize it. It just takes a lot of work and inspection -- they (code enforcement) personally visit the properties. It isn't done by remote. They walk through them, they take pictures, they do reports, then like I said, the petition gets mailed and then we end up in municipal court," he said."

At the end of July, the owners of a dozen properties were summoned to municipal court. The city won legal right to demolish ten of those structures, including the fire damaged building on North Slappey Boulevard that used to house the Rising Phoenix, the commercial structure on South Monroe Street and another structure at 1001 Clark Avenue.

Two other properties on Cherry Avenue and Cotton Avenue were given repair orders.

The city is now in the process of checking for asbestos and moving forward with the demolitions. Davis says they plan to bring between 12 to 15 cases to court each month to keep the legal process moving as quickly as possible for demolitions.

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