Laurens City Council this week received a list of dilapidated properties in town considered for demolition. Building and Zoning Director Clay Rykard said he has sent letters to twelve of the property owners giving them the choice of repairing or tearing down the buildings, or have the city do it for them. The letter says that if the city pays for demolition, it will put a lien on the property to be reimbursed if it is sold.
The price estimate for the demolitions range from $2,000 to $10,000, and Rikard said that there is already $60,000 set aside for this purpose. Mayor Brownlee said “We can’t afford to do all of them, we want to do those on the main corridors.” Councilman Martin, Lowry suggests to look at the properties and see which ones will be sellable, but City Attorney Tom Thomson said that we can’t force a property owner to deed it over to us, or foreclose on a lean. Only if they sell the property would the city recover the money. City is to put a condemned sign on a building 30 days prior to tearing it down to give the owners some time to demolish the buildings themselves.