PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - The city of Paragould approved a $100,000 budget for condemnations for 2017 as a way to keep their communities in good condition.
According to Mark Rowland, a city council member, this is the second time they have set aside money to be used specifically to tear uninhabitable homes down.
"In 2016, we approved a budget for $100,000 as well, and by the end of the year, we ate up almost all of that money," said Rowland.
Rowland said in 2016, they were able to condemn 37 homes, where 21 homeowners complied.
"Those 21 homeowners agreed to tear their homes down using money out of their pocket and the city paid to tear the rest of the homes down so in a way we saved some money with all the condemnations last year," said Rowland. "Still each home varied in expenses because you would have one home that costs about $3,500 to tear down and then you will have another that would cost $7,000."
Rowland also said having that many condemnations may come with a price, but it is worth it in the long run.
"That is taxpayer dollars," said Rowland. "We don't want to have to use it that way. We would rather build parks and do improvements, but to me, it is an improvement when an unsightly property is torn down because many times people will buy the lots that the homes were built on, and create something that would add to the quality of Paragould."
Rowland said the important part is making sure Paragould remains attractive.
"We want people to take pride in their properties," said Rowland. "That is the main thing because if you take pride in your property, you take pride in your city."
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