08/12/13 — Mount Olive considers demolitions

View Archive

Mount Olive considers demolitions

By Josh Ellerbrock
Published in News on August 12, 2013 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The town of Mount Olive is looking at possibly tearing down buildings on three different lots by condemning them as public nuisances, unless their owners take action to make the buildings safe. The Mount Olive town board heard the public nuisance condemnation hearing as part of their town board meeting on Aug. 5.

The lots are located at 612 Connor St., 202 E. Slocumb St. and 205 E. Slocumb St. Both lots on Slocumb Street have burn damage inside that can't be seen from the street, and the house on Connor Street is close to falling down, said Town Attorney Carroll Turner.

"This house is just totally dilapidated. This house has been like that for a number of years. It's literally going to fall in," he said.

Out of the three lot owners, the owner at 202 E. Slocumb St., Willie James Smith, Jr., was the only one to attend the public meeting last week to try to get the town to reverse the condemnation of the building on his property.

"What I'm trying to do today is try to find out what I need to do to save the property," Smith said "That's my biggest concern -- saving that property in that area."

The town tabled the condemnation for 90 days as a showing of good faith to Smith, who will now be required to attend the board's November meeting and present evidence of his work to fix the building's problems.

Smith agreed to the conditions, saying that 90 days should be enough time to start the repairs.

"Our general consensus is we want to save a property if we can. Even if you go down there and fix it up, it's something better than what we got," said Mayor Ray McDonald.

The other two owners, Mildred D. Bernard and Annie K. Williams, did not show up at the meeting. They have 30 days before the town can take action.

Tearing buildings down costs the town of Mount Olive about $2,500. If a building is replaced, however, the town's tax base is expanded.

In other business ,town officials encouraged people to attend a community forum organized by the town of Mount Olive starting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 8, at St. Mark's Free Will Baptist Church on Nelson Street. The topic will be crime in the community. Light refreshments will be served.