City of Alexandria budgets $600,000 to demolish abandoned properties
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Over $600,000 has been budgeted this year by the City of Alexandria to demolish abandoned structures, both residential and commercial.
Since taking office in 2018, Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall has invested over a million dollars in demolition to reduce blight in the city, targeting both residential and commercial vacant structures.
“Right now, we think there’s an estimated 1,173 residential structures that are blighted and another 165 commercial structures ahead of us that we’re trying to work on,” said Shirley Branham, Administrator of Community Development for the City of Alexandria.
District 1 City Councilman Reddex Washington said a number of these blighted properties are in his district, and getting rid of them is something he has been working on since before taking office.
“It’s such a great thing for this $600,000 to become available, and I hope that we use all of it,” he said.
The city is aiming to demolish around 80 properties by the end of the year. Some of the commercial blight the city is targeting is on North MacArthur Drive and a few properties along Bolton Avenue. But, if the city wants to increase its demolition efforts, Branham said that some changes need to be made.
“We need state legislation and constitutional reform to change property rights so that when a property is abandoned and blighted, the city can be more aggressive in their actions,” she said.
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