Properties added to city’s dilapidated list

Published 8:49 am Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Demopolis City Council authorized the demolition of two additional dilapidated properties during a meeting on August 17.

Demopolis Building Official Julius Rembert provided the council with a progress report of properties already on the dilapidated list, leading to a request that the council authorize the demolition of the two properties due to their state of severe disrepair and owners being non-compliant. Rembert told the city council that certified mail was sent to the owners and the properties were posted, but the owners had failed to respond.

Rembert is encouraging property owners to be more responsible in maintaining their property.

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“Properties can become dilapidated over time due to its age, or when owners don’t keep up with the needed repairs,” he said.

Rembert added that his office receives many complaints from citizens who are frustrated and feel that city officials should do more in addressing dilapidated properties, as well as public nuisance properties.

Public nuisance, according to the building official,  is “an unreasonable interference with a right common to the general public, such as a condition dangerous to health, offensive to community moral standards, or unlawfully obstructing the public in the free use of public property.”

To date, the city’s efforts to resolve dilapidated property has led to the completion of seven demolitions, two currently in progress, and eight are in the early stages of the process, Rembert said.

“The city gives property owners the opportunity to correct issues with their properties, but when the owners fail to comply, the city has no other alternative but to correct the issues or demolish the property,” Rembert said.

When the city steps in to resolve problems on those property, all costs incurred by the city are assessed and must be paid by the property owners, sometimes as a lien on the property.

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, August 26, print edition of the Demopolis Times.)