Officials in one wiregrass town are getting serious when it comes to public eyesores. News four's Mike Gurspan says earlier in the week, the Opp city council voted to demolish its first "public nuisance".
The 1920's era home and property at 507 Douglas Avenue in Opp is overgrown with weeds, and has been severely damaged by animals and weather over the years. The property has been abandoned, and the Opp city council has voted to demolish it unless improvements are made immediately. The owner has less than a month to improve it, or it'll be torn down. The cost of removal will be assessed with the owner's property taxes. The objective is to improve the overall look of the town.
"We have a lot of older properties that have been abandoned over the years, and this ordinance is a way to have the property owner either clean it up, or it will be demolished at his or her expense"
This is the fourth parcel to be abated in the last two weeks here in Opp:
"The neighbors that we spoke with to this abandoned property, they are overjoyed with the prospect of it being removed"
"All sorts of things are coming out, armadillos, snakes, yes snakes are coming out and coming on to my property, rats. I'll be glad it is being removed"
"It is a mosquito haven. I'm glad to see it going away. It will be a big improvement"
Besides being an "eyesore", the buildings being condemned by the city are also deemed a health hazard.
Opp city officials say many of the dilapidated properties are owned by people living outside the area. In some cases, it may be an heir to the original homeowner. Who has no interest in improving the property.