Covington taking steps to improve neighborhoods - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Covington taking steps to improve neighborhoods

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) -

The City of Covington is moving forward with efforts to stimulate neighborhood revitalization. 

This week, the City began demolition of approximately 30 privately owned residential properties within the City, the first step for the City's Community Services Division's (previously known as Code Enforcement) strategy.

The strategy was identified last year through the Mayor's office to address blight and vacant properties within the city.  All of the identified properties are currently vacant and most have been for some time. In some cases, the properties have been categorized as posing immediate safety risks.  Most of the properties on the demolition schedule have fallen into extreme disrepair and are a major source of the blight within the streets and neighborhoods in which they are located.   

 The City plans to work strategically with neighborhood and business groups to maintain this initiative on an ongoing basis.   Through this effort, a vast reduction of administrative staff work will be realized.

Some duties surrounding these blighted properties include securing all the windows and doors in the buildings to protect from criminal activity and monitoring the properties so that people do not take residence in buildings without working utilities or permission from the owner.  Staff work also includes maintenance such as cutting the grass and weeds in warmer months to keep in compliance with City Code regulations.   

The private demolitions are just one piece of the City's overall plan to clean up the blight and improve the housing stock.  The City has plans to demolish or rehab all of the residential structures that the City currently owns, as well as find strategic uses for the vacant lots.  City commission also recently adopted a new residential rental inspection program, criminal activity ordinance, and a new staffing structure for the Community Services Division, which includes code enforcement activities, that will allow more time for "on street" code enforcement.   

"We think this is the first step of many towards a greatly improved quality of life for many in our community and we are glad to have finally begun working on this issue. We hope the public will be happy with this move," said Assistant City Engineer Mike Yeager, who is responsible for overseeing the Community Services Division.

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.

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