Laurens city leaders are taking new steps to tear down a dilapidated building that’s been wasting away on a busy downtown Laurens intersection for years.
LAURENS, S.C. -
Laurens City Council is taking steps to remove a dangerous and dilapidated building in the downtown.
The property at the corner of Highway 221 and East Main Street was taped off in May. The roof is caving in, the bricks are crumbling, glass is broken and the building is filled with asbestos. City leaders say it's structurally unsafe and a danger to pedestrians.
Cities can tear down vacant, unsafe buildings as long as they attempt to notify the owner. However, city officials say it would cost around $90,000 in taxpayer money to clear away the eyesore. If they invest the time and money, they'd like to own the property so they have a say in what happens to it after the building is gone.
The city fined the building owner $500 plus court costs on Sunday for having a dilapidated property. They could continue to do so every month, but they won't have to. The owner has offered to deed the property over to the city.
Mayor Sharon Brownlee says it was the owner's choice to do so and the city did not strong arm the owner into handing over the property. However, city leaders haven't decided to accept the offer yet.
First, they want to assess issues like the financing and liability involved in bringing the building down. City leaders say they hope to have a plan in place soon so they can have the building torn down by this spring.