ROCKINGHAM — Another abandoned house in one neighborhood will soon be coming down.
The Rockingham City Council on Tuesday approved a demolition ordinance for a “dilapidated dwelling” at 1003 Leak Street.
Assistant City Manager John Massey said the city began minimum housing proceedings in May.
The property owners — listed as Jewel Eason, Bernice C. Covington, Betty Ann Baker and Lorraine Baker — were reportedly notified of a hearing with the city’s code enforcement officer.
Per the procedure, the notice was sent via both certified and regular mail, posted on the property and advertised in the local print newspaper. Another notice was sent informing the owners to make repairs or demolish the house by Aug. 23, and, according to Massey, no action has been taken.
“We did have communication with representatives for the owners, they’re in New York,” Massey said, adding that there is “obviously no interest in repairing the property.”
He recommended the council approve the ordinance “and we’ll proceed to tear it down.”
Mayor John Hutchinson thanked Massey for his efforts in tracking down the owners.
“Sometimes when they’re not here it can be difficult to do,” Hutchinson said.
This makes the sixth abandoned property the city has voted to tear down in the same area after concerned residents approached the council in the summer of 2021.
The other houses include: 109 Kinney Street (August); 211 S. Brookwood Ave. (June); 206 S. Brookwood Ave. (April); 204 S. Brookwood Ave. and 302 Bush St. (December ‘21).
Massey previously told the RO that the cost to the city to demolish a home can range from $4,000-$15,000 depending on if it needs asbestos abatement or if the fire department can use it for training.
The city has been involved in discussions with Habitat for Humanity of the N.C. Sandhills, including putting the organization in contact with several other property owner heirs, according to Massey.
He said the hope is that Habitat can acquire some of the properties for renovation or to tear them down and rebuild.