Covington ramps up blight demolitions

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wwltv.com

Posted on May 22, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

COVINGTON- The demolition orders are in, and the machinery on-site, for the latest attack on blight. The target houses in the West 30s neighborhood are two of too many left standing in a crumbling state for too long.

Code Enforcement Officer Wayne Mayberry said, “People will go in those houses and just set fire to them and other houses would be in danger. Also we have rodents, snakes animals in the houses, and also unfortunately drug deals that go on in houses like this."

So Thursday, they were torn to the ground.

This is now ten dilapidated houses down, this year alone. About 70 have been removed from neighborhoods since 2011, and the people who live around them welcome it.

"I'm glad that the city is really doing a better job on getting rid of blighted properties in our community because they are terrible eyesores," said neighborhood activist Francis Dunn.

When the homes were built, the city did not have code enforcement regulations. But today's rules say if anyone were to purchase the properties and build a home on them, they could only build one, bettering the look of the neighborhood in the long run.

Mayberry said, “A lot of homes in Covington are really nice houses, and these blighted homes take away from their value. Every time a structure like this goes down, the property value of Covington goes up."

And neighbors hope where these houses are removed, new ones will replace them.

Dunn said, “You can't have life when you ain’t got nowhere to live at, so you know what we need is a total commitment for the City of Covington as to improve the quality of life throughout this area."

It's a battle the city says is on-going, but one leaders feels they are winning. Code enforcement expects the lot to be clear by the weekend. A third house, on the same block as Thursday’s demolitions, is scheduled to be knocked down next week.

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