Meridian, Miss. Efforts are resuming this week to rid Meridian of structural eyesores. This marks the ninth year for an inter-local effort to tear down dilapidated structures.
As part of the agreement between the City of Meridian and Lauderdale County, county crews tear down condemned structures, and the City of Meridian handles the rest.
Over an eight year period almost 300 structures were demolished. There are 12 condemned structures on the current list.
"We'll approximately get one house a day down this time," says Riley Scarborough, who's working with the current demolition crew. "In approximately 12 days we'll be finished."
For the last five years Riley Scarborough has worked with county crews. Over the years he says they have found some individuals who are believed to be homeless inside some houses.
"We've found a couple sleeping in there when we'll be walking up there getting ready to tear them down, but they'll get out pretty quick. We just want to make sure that nobody gets hurt."
According to the Housing Inspector for the City of Meridian, a new interpretation about policies for the Department of Environmental Quality was recently released. He says this change could slow the demolition process.
Meanwhile, Lauderdale County officials say the minimum number of workers who are needed for demolition are currently doing the work. Tuesday morning there were two dump trucks at the site. Because crews are also continuing to do other work throughout the county, Scarborough says he and the others involved are doing the best they can to tear down the dilapidated structures as quickly as they can.