Council awards demolition contract

Published 6:49 pm Monday, October 30, 2017

In its continuing effort to rid the city of unsafe structures, the Washington City Council, during its Oct. 9 meeting, condemned the house at 1060 E. Seventh St.

The council awarded a $4,450 contract to Dudley Landscaping to demolish the house. Sue C. Paul and spouse, Sonya Massey and spouse, Carla Paschall and spouse and Teresa Braddy and spouse, according to a city document, owned the house. Those owners, according to the document, were given “reasonable opportunity” to bring the house into compliance with city and state codes related to buildings and minimum housing requirements.

An order to remedy the house’s defective condition was issued June 26 by Allen Pittman, a senior building official with the city. The cited conditions included, but were not limited to, lack of sanitary facilities, unsafe wiring, conditions creating a fire hazard and attracting insects or rodents, according to the order.

If the city uses city money to pay for demolishing the building, a lien will be placed against the real property. The lien will have to be satisfied if and when the property is sold.

In recent years, the city has become more aggressive in dealing with structures that do not meet the minimum housing code and/or building codes.

Several years ago, the city adopted an ordinance designed to prevent property owners, particularly owners of significant historic properties, from allowing their properties to essentially be demolished by neglect.

During a meeting in September 2016, the council reviewed a list of 103 substandard houses in the city, of which 16 are labeled as top priorities. Of those 16 substandard structures, there are 10 the city wants to address by the end of the year, according to a memorandum from John Rodman, the city’s director of community and cultural resources, to the mayor and council members. Several houses on the list have been demolished.

The list was developed by the city’s planning and building inspections personnel, with assistance from the Washington Police Department, which identified structures that have a history of being used for illegal activities.


About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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