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County takes action on blighted home

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Posted at 7:00 PM, Jan 09, 2012
and last updated 2012-01-11 08:32:39-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - Residents of the Shady Creek neighborhood have looked forward to this day for years; the day a bulldozer would tear down what they call the biggest eyesore in their neighborhood.

Kenneth Ham said he and the other property owners on their Mill Race Road block started to worry that the dilapidated home next door would never come down.

“For 7 or 8 years it has been empty,” said Ham. “We saw critters running in and out of it.”

“It just feels good to know it’s being torn down,” he added, and said that kids played in the ramshackle house.

Property maintenance Inspector Bonnie Johnson said they have taken a number of calls throughout the years aboutthe home. She said behind the scenes there was a process to follow.

She said they spent a great deal of time trying to track down the absentee owner. “It takes a long time because with this property we finally made contact with the owners and they were able to get the property secured.

“Then, contact fell through and the home became unsecured again,” said Johnson. At that point the owners couldn’t be located she said. “Then it sold but the sale fell through.”

“So, yes it takes a while to notify the right people” added Johnson.

Crews tore down the home on Tuesday and moved out three truck loads of debris. They also graded the area. Now there will be a lien placed on the property.

Johnson said the county spent about $6000 dollars on asbestos removal, demolition and disposal fees.

That means whoever tries to buy the property must first satisfy that lien. The county will then recoup the money.

Phillip Sharp doesn’t seem to mind one bit. He’s just looking forward to a new start. He said early Tuesday morning a handful of neighbors showed up to watch the demolition from his front yard.

He doesn’t even mind if a bit of his tax dollars go to the project.

“I’m so happy and glad that at least we have evidence of our tax dollars at work,” he said. “I’m an immediate recipient of that so I have no problems with the county spending the money.”