05/02/06 — Owners get more time to avoid demolition

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Owners get more time to avoid demolition

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on May 2, 2006 1:49 PM

Goldsboro City Council members voted to condemn three dilapidated dwellings Monday.

Chief Building Inspector Ed Cianfarra said the dwellings had gone through the three-phase condemnation process with little to no progress made by the property owners.

Two of the houses, located at 110 N. Slocumb St. and 114 N. Slocumb St., are owned by Kenneth Michael West and his wife, Sandra. Cianfarra said the Inspections Department has attempted to contact and work with the owners to no avail.

"We've made every effort," he said.

The house at 110 N. Slocumb is currently unoccupied, Cianfarra added, and has a series of code violations that date back to 2003, when it was originally cited. A leaking roof, water damage, rotten seals, falling ceilings and the presence of mold and mildew were among the problems cited by inspectors. The Wests also owe more than $1,000 in back taxes on the property, he said.

Their second house at 114 N. Slocumb is also unoccupied. Rotten wood, falling ceilings, water damage, the presence of mold and mildew and a bad roof were among its problems.

Cinafarra said both of these homes were on a block notorious for dilapidated dwellings -- a problem area in Goldsboro.

"There are a couple more on the same block that will be coming up (for condemnation) in the next few months," he said.

The third condemnation was ordered for 412 E. Walnut St., a property owned by P. Delmus Bridgers and his wife, Martha.

The dwelling was first cited by inspectors in January 2004. Fire damage and holes in the walls and roof were the key problems, Cianfarra said.

Despite the unanimous vote by Council members to condemn the three properties, City Attorney Tim Finan said both property owners had submitted letters for review, requesting more time to make necessary repairs.

Their requests were granted on a conditional basis. Both owners have 10 days to put up a bond, covering any back taxes and demolition cost, to receive an extension. If the balance isn't paid by then, city officials will proceed with demolition orders.

Should both owners pay their bonds, they then have six months to bring the dwellings up to code. Additionally, the properties will be inspected after three months, and 50 percent of the repairs must be complete. After the six-month window expires, "100 percent" of the work must be completed for the properties to avoid demolition, Cinafarra said.

There are dozens of dilapidated buildings currently under the watch of the Inspections Department. Earlier this year, Cianfarra said that he generally recommends that between three and five homes are condemned by the City Council per month.