Working from a list updated in June by the Hope City Board of Directors, city crews began Tuesday demolishing condemned structures in Hope.
The former Pet Bath House, located on West Third Street, was taken down Tuesday by workers from the city's street department, who will demolish a number of residences and other structures in the coming weeks, while others will be removed by burning by the Hope Fire Department, and others will be removed by contractors for the city, according to City Manager Catherine Cook.
“We're still working with property owners on some, but we have identified four or five that we can take down; and, then, when we work out the details, another four or five for the fire department to work on,” Cook said Wednesday.
She said the street crews will likely work for several days on the demolition projects.
“Then, we will be left only with the ones that we feel like we have to have contractors take them down,” Cook said.
In June, the board renewed condemnations on structures at 321 W. Second St., 801 W. Ave. A, 316 Briant St., 1118 N. Graham St., 620 Hickory St., 710 N. Laurel St., 116 N. Louisiana St., 304 N. Pine St., 220 Shover St., and 818 N. Walker St.
“We identified some that the property owners did take down some of those; and, then we identified some like this structure on Third Street that is not a good candidate for burning because it's too close the other structures and would be too dangerous,” Cook said.
She said when city crews complete each demolition, City Attorney Joe Short will then file a lien against the property.
Typically, after a property is condemned by the city, property owners have about 30 days to act. Without any action, the city can legally raze the property and assess a lien against the real estate. Liens are filed by the city to recover costs incurred in demolition, Cook said.
“They have a couple more, and while they are caught up on other things right now, they can take a week or two to get to it,” she said. “And, the fire department is looking at the ones they are going to take down and working with Joe Short and the property owners about that.”
Costs for post-demolition cleanup and pre-demolition asbestos survey of the property must be settled before those properties can be taken down as training exercises for the fire department.