Supervisors Discuss Demolition Costs

Demolition of dilapidated houses in Meridian is set to begin again next month.

That work has been ongoing for several years, through a partnership between the city of Meridian and Lauderdale County supervisors.

But the cost of the work was an issue raised during the county's board meeting Monday.

"We need to sit down and figure out something to recover that money," said District 5 supervisor Ray Boswell.

He said that's the bottom line. Boswell said he's concerned about how much money, if any, that the county has recovered so far from the demolition of dilapidated houses within the city.

:We have not tried to meet with the city to see if we can recover any of this money," Boswell said. "Now it's illegal to work on private property without recovering those funds."

"If the property is sold and the lien has been put on the property, then it can be collected when the property is sold," said board attorney Rick Barry.

"But we've been tearing them down for years," said Boswell. "We've never seen for sure that there's been a lien, have we? Show it to me. I've asked for that paperwork. I want to see."

According to Barry, it is the city's responsibility to place a lien on the property.
At this time, county attorney Lee Thaggard says he's now trying to arrange a meeting between city and county officials to address recouping concerns.

"There's a procedure there to recoup that money that is spent," said Thaggard. "What we're going to do is follow-up with the city and county and personnel that are involved to make sure that that's being followed through on."

Thaggard says that meeting will likely be held this Thursday or next Tuesday.

Since the city and county signed an interlocal agreement five years ago, almost 200 dilapidated and abandoned houses in the city have been demolished.

Officials say they still have about 80 or so more on their list of homes to be torn down.


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  • by Anonymous on Dec 10, 2009 at 03:52 PM
    ok last thing needed is county and city morphed into one.. that is just asking for trouble.. the city has to pay for the tare downs as who ever owns the tax bill is the owner.. now the city should go after them is leans and collection agencies ... your taxes not bad.. most places property tax runs about 3 grand per quarter .... As far as water being used times you can use it and will work.. with the wind and cold might have made a hazard rather then help..
  • by Don Location: Meridian on Dec 8, 2009 at 06:25 AM
    Just in case Mr Boswell doesn't know it already the city of Meridian is in Lauderdale county. As a matter of fact we pay county taxes which are on the verge of outrageous and just wait for the next reappraisial! WE NEED CONSOLIDATION!!!!
  • by Daniel Randolph Location: KEMPER on Dec 8, 2009 at 03:56 AM
    I WAS WATCHING THE EARLY NEWS AND WHEN THEY TORN DOWN HOMES BE FOR I DIDNT SEE ANYONE WITH A FIRE HOSE TO KEEP THE DUST DOWN.THEY ARE OLD HOUSE YOU DONT KNOW WHATS IN THEM.
  • by FP Location: Meridian on Dec 7, 2009 at 07:55 PM
    My 2009 property tax reveals $ 509.00 County tax and $ 546.00 City Tax. Tired of these juvenile city and county leaders fussing about who pays for what (jail, property demolition, paving). Just consolidate this joint.
  • by voter Location: meridian on Dec 7, 2009 at 06:00 PM
    You reference about 200 houses torn down and you are just now talking about money. Why has the city not paid their share for all that have already been torn down? The county should not be spending our tax dollars alone. Boswell is correct to question this but a little too late, 200 houses late.
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