Abandoned Houses

Since work first began earlier this year, 34 houses on the city's demolition list have been torn down. However, there's apparently much more work to be done. On the latest list, 54 more houses have been added.

However, officials with the city and county collaborative initiative say efforts to tear down these houses will not begin until early next year when street paving projects come to a halt.

"Come the second week of January," says Lauderdale County Supervisors Joe Norwood, "APAC is scheduled to shut down its operations for repairs. At that point the county will be able to go out and demolish some of those properties abated by the city."

It’s a task which he says is more difficult than many might think.

"You can tear down a house in 15 minutes, but it'll take you a half a day to haul it off and you can't tie up the trucks that long."

Overall, Norwood says when it comes to tearing down abandoned homes, things get even more complex.

For example, along 35th Avenue demolition supervisors say at least 50 loads of debris was hauled away for several different structures. With rental fees for various equipment needed for such projects ranging from $60 to $100 an hour and high labor costs they say these type jobs aren't cheap. The big question now is who really has to pay the price?

The answer: the property owner through special assessment taxes!

Meanwhile, as efforts continue to complete this project, officials are asking residents to be patient.

"We're just doing what we can when we can," says Norwood.