01/19/06 — Condemnation proceedings expected to continue in Princeton

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Condemnation proceedings expected to continue in Princeton

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on January 19, 2006 1:47 PM

PRINCETON -- Princeton is expected to continue condemnation proceedings against three dilapidated buildings.

Police Chief Eddie Lewis said Tuesday that the town's attorney, Robert Spence Jr. of Smithfield, was beginning the paperwork against properties at 640 Dr. Donnie Jones Boulevard, 106 W. Railroad St. and 424 S. Pine St.

Lewis told a recent town board meeting that the properties were listed Jan. 24, 2005, for condemnation. The three property owners had 12 months to get permits to improve their buildings, but if nothing were done, then the town could proceed with legal action.

A mobile home on Linda Street that also was on last January's list has been removed. Another building on Edwards Street has been improved. Lewis said the building has not been inspected and nor certified for occupation.

Three dilapidated buildings on Tart Circle will be burned down, Lewis said.

Mayor Don Rains asked if an animal situation at a mobile home on Arrowhead Drive had been resolved. Lewis said it was a Johnston County matter because the home was outside of the town limits.

Lewis told the board that his officers needed help in handling the surrender of large animals. He said he will ask the board to approve new policy in February that would eliminate the liability issue. He said he has one dog cage and two cat cages.

At one time, town Commissioner Eddie Haddock said Princeton had five or six cages.

Lewis said he has applied for a Governor's Crime Commission grant for computer upgrades and an antenna tower. He said he should know by April if the request is approved.

The chief warned that pressure will be placed on lawbreakers to either correct themselves or to make them move out of town.

"We want to make sure that people have safe lives," he said recently. "If you don't want me to get a search warrant, don't give me a reason to get one."

The chief said he might park outside a suspect building to scare away customers.

"I only have to get lucky once," he said. "They have to stay lucky all the time."

Mayor Rains thanked the chief for his hard work in cleaning up areas that needed it.