“Amen!” was the first word out of Joann McMillian’s mouth Monday when told that a dilapidated house next door to her home on Price Street is targeted for demolition.
The wood-frame structure at 335 Price St. has a collapsing roof, plywood over its windows and other deficiencies obscured by vegetation.
And while it is deemed unfit for human habitation by city codes enforcement officials, this doesn’t mean other life forms haven’t been harbored there.
“I’ve done killed three snakes,” added McMillian, who also reported the presence of a groundhog there, along with “crackheads.” Greg Holt, another neighbor, said Monday that rats also have been a problem at the long-unoccupied structure, which sits along the narrow street just off Rockford Street.
McMillian said she also has had to run small children out of the structure after they managed to get in through a small hole in its side. “So it’s been a hazard.”
The neighboring resident said she has been trying to have the appropriate authorities address the problem for about two years.
That relief could finally come Thursday night during a meeting of the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners. Board members will consider approving the demolition of the rundown house at 335 Price St. and another in the northern part of the city at 2046 Dyson Place.
“I thank them,” McMillian reacted Monday when told this was at hand.
Such action has been a rarity by city government in recent years, but the expected approval during the 7 p.m. meeting is coinciding with a recent push to address problem structures in Mount Airy. The catalyst for this is last year’s hiring of a private firm to handle planning-relating functions here, including housing codes enforcement.
Certified letters were sent in June 2011 to owners of the structures on Price Street and Dyson Place, giving each 60 days to demolish them, but no such action has been taken. Both have been posted as unsafe, according to city documents which state that the owners of the properties were afforded “a reasonable opportunity” to take corrective action on their own.
Along with voting on the proposed demolition Thursday night, the commissioners will consider amending the city budget to cover the $9,100 cost of the work.
If approved, that expense will constitute a lien against the real property involved in each.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or firstname.lastname@example.org.