Taking a hit for a parking lot
by Lisa Tome
Three more uninhabitable homes came down last week.
That's a relief for the county director of permits and inspections.
The county has been moving forward with the removal of uninhabitable, unsafe, and homes in which the structural integrity has been compromised.
Back in fiscal year 2014, then County Executive Tari Moore moved forward with
plans for a demolition program for unsafe homes. The plan moved ahead in fiscal year 2015. In that year, five homes were taken down.
Homes at Ragan Road, Conowingo, Turkey Point Road, North East, Locust Street in Crystal Beach, Earleville, Carpenters Point near Perryville, and Bainbridge Road near Port Deposit have been removed. Last year, contractor Dennis Reynolds took down a house on North East's Cecil Avenue. That home was a haven for drug users and squatters.
With this program, there is a process. The property owner is given the chance to have an unsafe structure taken down. If the property owner doesn't remove the building, the county takes it to court and receives authority. Once the demo is completed, the fees for the demo, and the attorneys are paid by a tax lien against the tax bill.
This demolition was one of several planned last week, said Pat Conway the county's director of permits and inspections.
Other properties in this most recent round were two at Bard Cameron, a mobile home on Champlain Court in Lakeside Mobile Home Park, and a home in the 1800 block of Conowingo Road.
For Jarred Logan, the feel of that first hit never gets old.
Logan, owner of JAL Construction, was enjoying his work last week, after winning the bid to perform demolition at two county-owned properties at the entrance to the Bard Cameron athletic complex. The work was part of the county's demolition program for unsafe properties. Logan was doing two in the same day - a ranch house and a doublewide mobile home.
"It's going well. There's not much to it. It's a good day of tearing stuff up," said Logan. As part of the process, the septic system was pumped out and the well capped off with concrete. Logan, the work crew, and the water and sewer crewmen, were earning almost $30,000 for a few days work which included hauling away the debris. "I've been tearing stuff down since I was 10-years-old," said Logan.
"It's giving seven people a day of work in winter. It's actually three days work. We have to bring in good fill so it (the property) can be used again," said Logan, who was manning the excavator.
"All last night I was excited. It doesn't matter what you tear up today, you just get to play," said Logan. "I'm going to bid on (constructing) the parking lot too. It's for kids and that's a good thing."
Logan's demolition and minor restoration will eventually make way for an additional 300 vehicle parking lot at the complex.
"With what we have (for parking) and what we plan to build, we will be maxed out, said county parks and recreation Director Clyde Van Dyke. Until the parking is expanded, the fields have to be managed to accommodate the current limited parking, explained Van Dyke. "We hope in the future that it won't be that way," he said.
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