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Supervisors vote to clean up two properties in Lafayette County

The Board of Supervisors has ordered the clean up of two properties in Lafayette County.

The two locations, 30 County Road 514 and 8 County Road 2001, were first presented to the board for consideration back in July 2018. At the time, the Board voted to hold a public hearing in August for individuals to come forward and address any issues with the properties or reasons for the properties to be in such condition.

After the hearing, the owners were given 30 days to clean up the properties before crews from the county would enter the premises to do the job themselves.

“What we used, as far as a means to condemn these properties and require whatever it is that needs to be done, is state statute 19-5-105,” County Inspector Joel Hollowell said during the public hearing in August. “It doesn’t lay out any set criteria for what constitutes a menace to public health and safety, so an individual representative for the county, like myself, would be the one who could make that determination.”

The property on County Road 514 contains “dilapidated buildings and other debris,” Hollowell said.

Hollowell said that he and Lafayette County Road Manager Joe Bynum believe that the property can be cleaned up in a day.

The cost of removing the debris will be covered by the county and a tax lien will be placed on the property to cover costs incurred for the work.

The property on County Road 2001 contains two structures, an occupied mobile home and an unoccupied single family dwelling that has been inspected and condemned by the county.

The property also contains a large amount of industrial sized food cans, old furniture and other debris.

While the mobile home presents no problems, the single-family home requires demolition, though there is some concern about the presence of asbestos in some of the materials present in the home, Hollowell said.

“I do think it will be a very limited amount of asbestos if there’s any that is determined to be there,” Hollowell said. “It wouldn’t be anything to the extent of what you would find in a school or something like that, but it does need to be disposed of properly.”

The test will cost about $750 to complete and, should asbestos be found, the cost of removing the structure will increase as the crew will be required to follow protocol issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.

As with CR 514, the county plans to place a tax lien on the property to recover the costs incurred from cleaning up the property.

While the demolition of the home is on hold, county work crews were given the go-ahead by the board to begin cleaning up others areas of the property.

Work is expected to begin at both properties in the next couple of weeks.