City crack down

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 17, 2006

Dilapidated structures to be demolished

By Victor Inge

The Selma Times-Journal

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Dilapidated houses and structures that are deemed &8220;unfit for human habitation&8221; serve as havens for illicit activity, including drug abuse and the ill activities that go along with it.

Through a proactive approach, they’re being taken down.

The Selma City Code Enforcement Office currently has a list of 21 properties that have been approved for demolition. That may come the old fashioned way, or they could be burned to the ground.

Darryl Moore of the Code Enforcement office said they are doing what works best. Every property isn’t a candidate for a &8220;controlled burn,&8221; which Moore said is the most cost-effective approach.

According to the code enforcement office, in 2005-2006, there were 43 residential and commercial structures demolished, 373 cars removed, 391 overgrown lots cut and cleaned, 512 garbage citations issued and 16 houses boarded up. This fiscal year there have been seven residential structures demolished.

The Selma City Council has approved the demolition of 21 dilapidated structures so far. There have been six property owners to give permission to demolish their structures through a controlled burn by the Selma Fire Department.

Moore spent Friday afternoon assessing properties. Stopping at a falling property at 3115 Magazine St., Moore said the property owner has been notified the property was targeted for elimination. If the city demolishes the property Moore said it would cost about $1,700. The property owner will be billed for the expense and given 30 days to pay. If they don’t pay, a lien will be placed on the property.

It’s not just properties, but debris as well. Moore pointed out a pile of railroad cross ties, overgrown by brush. The property owner has been notified twice, Moore said. There may not be a third time.

Mayor James Perkins Jr., said the city is working to strengthen code enforcement citywide.