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|Abingdon Going After Owners of Distressed and Unsafe Houses
|The city of Abingdon has a lot of dilapidated and unsafe houses, and the mayor says city officials will soon be identifying the properties and going after the owners.
The city has been battling the problem for years and have had mixed results getting the situations resolved. The most recent complaint about a distressed and unsafe house came up at Monday night's city council meeting.
Steve Morris of Abingdon lives near the property in question at 209 East Martin Street. Morris says it's in very bad shape and something needs to be done about it.
"The foundation isn't in very good shape. Somebody's gonna get hurt, might be somebody's kid."
Chief Fred Andrews said the police department looked into the house last summer and agreed it's a serious problem. He said kids have been seen running in and out of the house. The city so far has been unable to get ahold of the owner.
Mayor Steve Darmer tells WGIL that house and others have been a major headache for neighbors and the city.
"We have attacked some and went to court on some. (The city) won a little bit (and) lost a lot. I'm going to take our new attorney Jack Ball and look at each one (distressed houses), take pictures, prioritize them and use his expertise and we'll just start working them from the top down and do what we can."
Darmer says the house at 209 East Martin will be the first one officials will try to get taken care of.
In other business, aldermen are still working to organize town hall meetings to provide information about a proposed city-wide trash collection service. The dates have not been established yet, but one of the meetings will likely be held later this month and the next one next month.
The voters will be asked on the April election ballot through a referendum whether Abingdon should provide refuse, recycling and yard waste collection and disposal services.
|02 03 09 by Newsroom
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