PHENIX CITY, Ala. (WRBL) – The demolition of several properties considered a public nuisance has been put on hold due to COVID-19.
During a May 18, 2021, Phenix City Council meeting, 11 properties were declared a public nuisance. The Housing Abatement Board will take necessary action to demolish, remove and clear all building materials, trash and debris.
A resolution and a public notice have been put in place to set a public hearing in reference to the demolition cost for the four properties, that were demolished.
Out of the eleven properties, four of the properties listed below have been demolished so far:
- 1908 10th Ave
- 1911 10th Ave
- 2107 12th Ave
- 805 16th Ave
The demolition for the remaining seven properties has been put on hold due to the city wanting to maintain the landfill and because of COVID-19. Phenix City Mayor Eddie Lowe said COVID-19 and the landfill is the main reasons for the delay.
“As everyone knows COVID has hit everyone, the workforce is down. One of the major reasons is due to the landfill, again as I’ve stated we have considerably slowed that down for that reason. However, we are still making sure that we continue to want to beautify the community,” Lowe said.
Even though the Mayor wants to maintain the City, he and other city officials arent found of tearing down houses.
“It’s not anything the city looks forward to doing, but we do it to make sure the area can look as best as it can. Sometimes having a property that is not up to code, it’s best to have it demolished or torn down so that area can look better. But it’s not anything the city looks forward to doing, however, we do our part as leaders to make sure our community looks as best as it can,” Lowe said.
Before the remaining seven homes are demolished, a public hearing will be put in place to allow the home and or property owners to appeal the demolition process. The Mayor told News 3 property demolition can be a lengthy and costly process.
“The process that we do before it gets to the point where houses are torn down, it’s a process we go through that takes some time. We give every owner of those properties the ability to rectify the situation. What I mean by rectifying them, is by bringing them up to code or to standards. But we follow the process of doing that, which means certified letters, the time frame by law and then a public hearing for the persons that own the property,” Lowe said.
The Mayor told News 3 he’s unsure as to when demolition will continue for the remaining homes.
“There’s a process as I stated and I know I keep going back to that. The billing department does a great job of making sure we’re following the letter of the law to the T. For those two reasons that I spoke of earlier, as far as the landfill and as far as the workforce, I don’t have a defiant answer to tell you when the other ones will be, hopefully, sooner than later,” Lowe said.