Hoxie continues cleanup by condemning houses

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

HOXIE, AR (KAIT) - The city of Hoxie is continuing the effort to clean up by condemning dilapidated homes.

The process continued as the city council approved to condemn five houses at their meeting Tuesday night.

Hoxie Fire Chief Chris Ditto said the houses are not structurally sound, which is one of the main things they look for when starting the process.

"I take photographs of the houses, do an outside walk around, and make sure the houses are unsafe," Ditto said. "Then, once I do that, I build a file with pictures, all of the property taxes and the paperwork that shows who owns it and take it to the city council."

Once the council approves the condemnation, the homeowner does have a chance to appeal the decision or clean it up before the home is knocked down.

He said it is about more than just how the town looks, though.

"One, it's unsightly but two, it's unsafe," Ditto said. "The biggest thing is it's unsafe. A lot of these roofs are falling in. If we do happen to get a small child that gets inside playing around and the roof falls, it could hurt or possibly kill them."

While only five houses have been condemned so far, there is a long list of properties that are on the list to be considered.

The city is only doing a few at a time because it costs money to tear them down when they aren't cleaned up, and the liens that are placed on the property owner's taxes may not be paid back for some time.

"For a small city like this, it's hard to put out $3,000 to $4,000 for cleanup and wait multiple years to get the money back," Ditto said.

If anyone has a home that is in disrepair, Ditto said they can contact him and the city will work with the owners to bring them back up to code.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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