FITZGERALD, Ga. (WALB) - Fitzgerald city leaders are cleaning up and demolishing uninhabitable structures throughout the city.
One of the demolishing projects took place on West Magnolia Street.
City leaders said these projects help protect the property rights of people living in these neighborhoods.
They are also aimed at bringing in future developments.
“These properties are not cost-effective for someone to come in and buy and then pay the costs to clear them and then build on them," said Cam Jordan, Fitzgerald deputy administrator.
“But if we can provide them a buildable lot where they don’t have to worry about the demo costs, then that gets the property back in line with the project,” Jordan said. "So we’ve put over $30 million on the tax digest through this program.”
That's over 20 years and around 600 redevelopment projects.
“We’re seeing not only people wanting to invest in the properties that we’re sitting on, we’re seeing people invest in the neighborhoods where we worked that we’re not playing any hand in and that’s ultimately what you want to do," Jordan said. “You want to make a neighborhood viable enough that people want to invest their own money in it without any help from us."
He adds around two-thirds of the properties are privately owned.
Jordan said typically it’s a symbiotic relationship between the city and the owners.
He says funding for the project originally started with $38,000 leftover from a HUD project.
However, since then, funds have been generated by charging for voluntary demolition and by buying and selling properties.
“In 21 years, no general fund taxpayer dollars have gone into the property,” Jordan said.
Officials said these projects will continue as long as there are structures that need to come down and properties that need to be cleaned up.