Augusta leaders approve tearing down 30-40 abandoned homes

News12 First at Five/ 3-24-2014

AUGUSTA, Ga (WRDW) -- City leaders are talking about selling abandoned land in Augusta for one dollar.

The details are still being worked out but it all has to do with getting rid of dilapidated properties.

The city has nearly 300 dilapidated homes that need to be torn down. Commissioners took steps to get that corrected.

"The homeless people go into those houses and stay. They don't have anywhere to live you know so they go inside and live," said neighbor Oliver Dolphus.

He lives right next door to this abandoned home on Grand Boulevard. The back door is opened and a mattress sits on the floor. Dolphus said he's seen people hanging around the house and wants the city to tear down.

"Yes it would. It would keep the drugs and prostitutes out," Dolphus said.

Guilfoyle agreed. "Two years ago, we put $500,000 to tear down these buildings. What about the years before that," said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.

The city has nearly 300 homes that are run down or abandoned. It's estimated that to tear down all the homes is going to cost nearly $3 million.

"It's one of the bad things about our city is dilapidated structures about our city. We are well over due and where is the money coming from," Commissioner Bill Lockett said.

"We actually put $5 million in for the these structures," Guilfoyle said.

The SPLOST seven package will put millions toward getting rid of things like this. However some are not so sure that's where the money should come from.

"We won't have access to that money until 2016," said Commissioner Bill Lockett.

Committee members did agree to spend $165,000 towards first the phase of the project. The rest of the money could be decided after voters head to the polls in May.


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