Home Local News Rockingham approves demolition ordinance for Boone Street house

Rockingham approves demolition ordinance for Boone Street house

ROCKINGHAM — The cleanup of one local neighborhood continues with another demolition ordinance.

The Rockingham City Council on Tuesday approved the measure for a house at 208 Boone St.

According to a memo from Assistant City Manager John Massey, the city initiated minimum housing proceedings nearly a year ago, in May of 2022.

The property owners are listed in the memo as Rachel Leonard, David Williams, Phillip Williams and Clara Williams and all four were reportedly notified about a hearing with the code enforcement officer.

Leonard attended the hearing and, according to Massey, the property owners were given until Sept. 13, 2022 to make repairs or demolish the house.

The house was slated to be saddled with a demolition ordinance at the October City Council meeting, but Massey said the owners had “engaged a realtor to sell the property.”

However, Massey added, no repairs have been made, the property is no longer being marketed by the realtor, and neighbors have complained.

“As usual, we do everything we can to get the property owner to take it down or renovate it,” said City Manager Monty Crump.

The vote was unanimous.

Crump said the house is one of those called into question in the summer of 2021 by a group of residents led by Dr. Wanda Spivey.

Click here to read about Spivey’s revitalization efforts.

This makes the eighth demolition ordinance approved for houses between Rockingham Road and Long Drive in less than two years.

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The other six houses include: 117 S. Grove Ave. in February; 1003 Leak Street (September ‘22); 109 Kinney Street (August ‘22); 211 S. Brookwood Ave. (June ‘22); 206 S. Brookwood Ave. (April ‘22); 204 S. Brookwood Ave. and 302 Bush St. (December ‘21).

The process for the city involves several legal hurdles, including a title search and advertising notices in the local print newspaper, and can take up to 10 months. The price tag on a demolition can range from $4,000-15,000, Massey previously told the RO. Sometimes, the fire department is able to use the house for training.

The City Council also approved its contract with local accounting firm Anderson Smith & Wike, PLLC to perform the annual audit.

Following the action items, Crump briefed the City Council on several ongoing projects, including street resurfacing and renovations of the public parking lot on Hancock Street, the latter of which is expected to be finished by July.

Crump said the city has also purchased new Christmas decorations and the old ones may be donated to other towns in the county.

Councilman Gene Willard recognized the work of the late Leon Levine, a Rockingham native and founder of Family Dollar who recently passed away.

Levine contributed financially to the future of his hometown through his philanthropic foundation.

Click here to read more about Levine.