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City plans demolitions

708 Branch St.jpg

City officials plan to demolish this boarded-up house on Branch Street that has become the location of criminal activity.

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Rocky Mount City Council is set to discuss housing demolition among other topics Monday afternoon.

The city's public works department wants to demolish three houses that have become dilapidated with one property becoming a location of frequent criminal activity.

The council will consider adopting an ordinance ordering the city's community code inspector to proceed with the demolition of the following dilapidated dwellings:

■ 708 Branch Street

■ 728 Park Avenue

■ 730 Park Avenue

The three demolitions are expected to cost approximately $18,000 including asbestos abatement and will be funded by the division's demolition account, Brenton Bent, the city's assistant director of public works, said in an email requesting the demolition.

The house at 708 Branch St. has been boarded up with no active utilities since Dec. 4, 2003. The house is structurally compromised with a rotting floor and ceiling joists, Bent said.

"The RMPD reported eight events at the dwelling between March 15, 2001, and Nov. 25, 2017, to include a missing child, loitering, trespassing, unauthorized parking and property damage. A shots fired incident was also reported in the vicinity with the recovery of a single spent casing,” Bent said.

The dwellings located at 728 and 730 Park Avenue are on the same parcel and were both listed as dilapidated prior to Hurricane Florence. The storm caused a large tree on the property to fall onto the roof of the 730 Park Avenue dwelling causing the entire roof to collapse, Bent said.

The contract to demolish the dwellings would also include the removal of the remaining section of the tree.

The Branch Street property is owned by Lisa Winstead. The other two properties are owned by the heirs of B.W. Pollard.

Also expected at the meeting is the establishment of two boards that were created by the council during last week's retreat. The council has crafted the Workforce Housing Commission as an advisory board on affordable housing issues and the Internal Audit Committee to accept reports from the city's internal auditor.

The council will also receive public comment. The meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. in the George W. Dudley City Council Chamber of the Frederick E. Turnage Municipal Building in downtown Rocky Mount.

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