Condemned Buildings Discussed By Dillon City Council

By Betsy Finklea
Condemned buildings were discussed at the Dillon City Council’s July meeting.
City Manager Glen Wagner said one of the biggest issues that they need to tackle. He said they have talked about condemned buildings several times at council meetings. He said not just residential condemned buildings, but commercial buildings also. He said the one that they discussed last month was on Hampton Street. He said that he and Benny Genwright, Code Enforcement Officer, have received just one bid, and it was just south of $100,000. He stated that this was the building on Hampton Street beside Family Dollar. He said they are waiting on other bids.
Wagner said the property owner was not going to do anything because he cannot afford it and why should he. He said the building would have to be torn down or brought back up to code which would possibly cost as much as tearing it down.
Wagner said they know the property owner is not going to do it so if it has to be torn down, the city is going to have to hire somebody to do it.
In the past for residential property, the city has worked out a payment plan with the property owner. If the property owner doesn’t pay, then they put a lien on the property. He said nobody is going to buy that property with a lien of that much on the property.
Wagner asked City Attorney Jack McInnis if they could go to these property owners where the buildings are condemned and see if they will deed the property over to the city. He said council needs to decide if they want to do this. He said the city would absorb the cost to tear down the building, and the property owner would be no longer own that property. He said if the city ever sells it, the city probably won’t ever get back the cost to do it, but the city would have some interest there.
Wagner said at that building, there is asbestos there. He said they paid about $2,400 for a study of asbestos. He said it is about half a block long and 2-30 feet wide. He said over the years the building has been a liquor store, pool hall, barbershop, and he didn’t know what else.
Councilman James Washington asked what would happen if someone bought it. Wagner said it would still be condemned.
Genwright said the plumbing, the electrical, and structural parts of the building would have to come up to code, and it would be well over $100,000. Wagner said it was something to think about.
Councilman Johnny Eller said it had been an eyesore in the community for years, and it is time to tear it down.
Wagner said that council had to decide if they wanted to own the property or put it on lien.
Wagner said hopefully by the August meeting they will have all the bids in, and they will vote on it, and in the meantime, he would speak with the property owner.
Councilman John Braddy said if they owned the property they would have better control over it.
Wagner said if they use taxpayer dollars, they have to have something in the end.

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