Several buildings targeted by city officials

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Staff Writer

Officials with the city of Troy have taken the first step in destroying some eyesores.

Tuesday night, the Troy City Council passed a resolution declaring the following buildings as unsafe: 300 Orion Street; 208 Griffin Street; two buildings at Route 5, Highway 29 North; 502 Hanchey Street; 113 Carroll; 104 Hodges Street and 125 Boyd Street.

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In April, Mayor Jimmy Lunsford, Building Official Junior Register and City Planner Calvin Lott held a press conference to outline guidelines for demolishing dangerous and delapidated buildings. Now, they are acting on those guidelines.

As the result of legislation passed, the Troy City Council adopted Article 2 of the Code of Alabama that outlines removing unsafe buildings and two years of work has paid off in giving the city authority to do something if the property owner won’t.

"We hope it will make a big dent in the eyesores," Lunsford said when outlining the guidelines. "We are going to be very, very aggressive in pursuing this."

The first step in the process is determining whether a building is unsafe, followed by sending notification to the owner.

If the property owner does not respond to the letter or file a written appeal within 30 days upon notice, the city will demolish the building and assess the cost against the property. That money will be collected by the Pike County revenue commissioner the same as an ad valorem tax and will be remitted to the city. City officials will also post a notice on the structure within three days of the notice.

Filing a request for a hearing will result in the city holding off its actions until a determination by the city council states the building should be destroyed. If no appeal is filed, the council has to order the building official to remove the structure.

The building official will then take bids for the demolition and it will be awarded as required by state code.

After being notified a "great majority" of property owners took it upon themselves to rid the city of dilapidated buildings, Lunsford said.

The city had an original list of 14 delapidated buildings and six property owners have cleared the land voluntarily.

In other business, the council:

· Declined the take possession of the Beulah Primitive Baptist Church property, which includes seven acres on both sides of Three Notch Street. Because there are only two living members of the church and they are in nursing homes, there is nobody to care for the church. The cemetery is cared for by a foundation.

· Agreed to give $10,000 to the Troy City Schools for the purpose of helping purchase new band uniforms.

· Appointed Alton Starling as election officer for the municipal elections slated for Aug. 22.

· Established an on-site absentee voting place for the municipal elections. Absentees can be cast between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Aug. 12 at the Pike County Courthouse. On-site absentees must be taken on the Saturday 10 days prior to the election.