Council: Repair structure next to daycare, or tear it down

Published 1:11 am Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Andalusia City Council approved an abatement ordinance Tuesday calling for the demolition of a building at 200 N. Cotton St. it has deemed dangerous if the building if the building is not brought up to code.

Whit Carroll, who works in code enforcement of the City of Andalusia, presented a slide show to council members showing structural damage, including rotted floor joists, busted windows, walls separating from the frame, and deterioration of the foundation.

The property is owned by Grady Smith Jr. of Madison, Ala., and is located next door to a daycare.

Carroll said he has spoken with Smith about the structural problems, and that they discussed a possible agreement for the city to demolish the building, but that Smith stopped communicating about the property.

Councilman Will Sconiers asked if the council could delay action, but city attorney Mark Christensen advised that the city would have to start the abatement process over if the council delayed action.

“I believe it is posing a threat to the daycare,” Mayor Earl Johnson said. “It is judicious that we move quickly on this.”

Carroll said that when he inspected the property, there was some evidence that suggested people previously had been sleeping there.

Councilman Kennith Mount said, “That could be a death trap for somebody.”

The council unanimously agreed to the abatement.

Carroll said he initially identified five properties with issues, and four cases were resolved without council actio. One on Moore Road has been demolished, and one on Third Street has been torn down. A third on River Falls Street is in the process of being demolished, and the owner of the fourth one has given the city permission to demolish it.

In other business, the council:

  • Agreed to let bids for mowing equipment for the Department of Leisure Services.
  • Reappointed Billy Jo Stallworth, Emma Locke and Randy Wahl to the recreation board.
  • Reappointed Glynn Ralls, Wayne Holmes, Larry Avery and Willie Locke to the Zoning Board of Adjustment.