Blighted House a Little Closer to Being Demolished

Blighted House a Little Closer to Being Demolished

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Billy Williams owns this property on Rhea Avenue. The only problem is, he can't rent it out because it sits catty-cornered to this lot. 178 Rhea Avenue.

"Every rental property that we have is rented out except for this one. Everybody who comes to look at the property says what's that? Nobody wants to be next to this," says Williams.

Not only bad for business, it's bad news for children who walk to nearby St. Pius Catholic School.

"Just property sitting vacant like this, you know, can bring out a bad element," says Ross Jacobs, whose children attend the school.

"If you take a look at the sidewalk, it's covered in trash, the grass is growing over. I can't imagine snakes or whatever else that maybe on the sidewalk that the kids can't see," adds Williams.

When I was last out here in early March, I was able to walk through the yard fairly easily but now, you can see the weeds are growing taller than I am.

Neighbors also say the smells gets worse in the summer months. Overall, just a bad situation.

"It deteriorates the value of the other properties in the area. This is by far the eye sore in the area that never seems to go away," says Jacobs.

In an email we received from the city's deputy director of urban forestry, we learned that the house is on track to be torn down. It's in the nuisance abatement program. But the city council still has to declare it a nuisance—which will happen either at the end of this year or the beginning of next year—once they declare it, bids *will* be released for demolition. Of course this whole process is extremely time consuming, but they say it's to protect everyone's property rights.

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