2018 April 03
For ten to 15 years, El Dorado has dealt with condemned homes.
Right now, there are about 35 homes on its condemnation list.
In the past two weeks, it’s gotten rid of close to 20.
“The problem is that we have a lot of properties that have been vacated and left unattended for months and even years and they become a hazard to the neighborhood,” said Robert Edmonds, Public Works Director. “The children like to play in them and bust the windows out of them. They’re just a hazard.”
El Dorado has put away funds dedicated to this—- $300,000 for the fix, but the first step of the process can be difficult.
Getting in touch with the property owner is hard, which in some cases there are several.
“If you can’t make contact with the property owner and the property steadily declines then he starts with the condemnation process.
Which is starting with a certified letter, posting the property for 30 days, putting it on the condemnation list, the council votes to condemn it, and after posting again for 30 days, the structure can be raised.
One city council member wants to tackle the issue a little differently.
Alderman Willie McGhee is working to create a committee to give the homes a closer look.
“Maybe get pictures of the property where we can actually look at the property,” said Mcghee. “Maybe even ride over and look at the property. If it seems to be “rehabable,” we could put it in the newspaper and announce that the city has some property.”
He says he’s simply trying to give it a process instead of tearing them down right away all while possibly giving the neighborhood a facelift.
“Yea we’re identifying a lot of houses, but the problem is that we’ve torn some houses down that could have been rehabbed. The other problem is that we’ve torn some houses down that people were actually trying to remodel and might didn’t have the time or the money to work on it every day or every weekend.
While the committee is still in the works— the alderman says he is dedicated to working for the people and the betterment of El Dorado.