INGATE

From The Sip Trunking Experts

TMCNet:  Augusta makes progress in taking down blighted properties

[February 03, 2013]

Augusta makes progress in taking down blighted properties

Feb 03, 2013 (The Augusta Chronicle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- For most of its 92 years, the little white clapboard house at 1688 15th St. was home to someone. People lived there. Beds were made. Dinner was served.


The Augusta Chronicle It was inhabited by the comings and goings of everyday life.

But that wasn't the case Thursday, when a wrecking crew reduced it to a pile of rubble.

What had once been a home had become a public nuisance. The yard sat untended and overgrown. Windows that weren't already boarded over were empty sockets. Its roof was open to the sky.

It was just one among the hundreds of abandoned houses in Augusta destined for destruction.

As of January, Augusta had more than 180 open "public officer" cases -- structures on its list to be demolished and another 100 or so cases in the process of working toward that final resolution.

Augusta has been taking down these problem properties at an accelerated rate in the past three months, since Augusta commissioners approved an additional $500,000 to address the issue, according to Rob Sherman of the city's Planning and Development Department.

About 65 houses have been torn down since October and another 30 or so are under contract to be demolished, accounting for about $433,000 of that money, according to data provided by Sherman.

That's a big dent in the city's backlog of vacant buildings, Sherman said. In previous years, his budget would allow for only about 20 such demolitions, which wasn't keeping pace with the number of properties being added to the list.

On average, each demolition costs the city about $5,000.

"It has made a big difference" Sherman said. "Without that money it would have been at least a couple more years for us to demolish that many structures based on the prior funding." The house on 15th Street had a history of ordinance violations and complaints dating back to 2006.

Like many such houses in the inner city, it was being used as a rental property by owners who lived outside Augusta.

It's not clear when the house became vacant, but in June 2010, the city cited the owner, Ronald Anglin, of Stone Mountain, Ga., for unlawful dumping and overgrown vegetation. That issue was resolved within a month, but in February 2011, the property was cited again for a number of violations, including having a structure unfit for habitation and open to the public.

A year went by with the property still in violation of city codes. Anglin signed over the deed to the property to his business, Hair We Are Family Salon, also in Stone Mountain, and the city revised its complaint in March 2012.

In August, the owners -- including two other men, Rupert Huff and Samuel D. Huff -- were summoned to appear in Magistrate Court to answer for the violations.

On Aug. 16, Magistrate Judge H. Scott Allen ordered the building demolished and to have a lien placed on the property for the costs incurred.

Pam Costabile, the city's code enforcement manager, said the story of 1688 15th St. isn't unusual. Every vacant property on the city's list has a similar history of code violations and complaints, followed by notifications and court proceedings, which lead to the eventual order for demolition, she said.

Often it is difficult to determine who and where the owner is. Costabile said it is an involved process that can sometimes take years to complete.

Sherman said most of the houses on the list have little value and aren't worth repairing, even if it were possible to do so. That gives owners little incentive to take care of them and little hope of selling them to someone who might want to fix up a house for their own residence.

"The shotgun houses especially, it will be hard to put your money in them and get your money out," he said. "They don't meet a modern family's needs." An empty lot is easier to redevelop than one with a dilapidated house. As more abandoned properties are leveled, it will create opportunities for developers to bring back Augusta's most blighted neighborhoods, he said.

"Eventually we will catch up, but there is still so much of the city's old housing that is not ever going to be reused," he said.

___ (c)2013 The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.) Visit The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.) at chronicle.augusta.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

[ Back To SIP Trunking Home's Homepage ]

Loading
Subscribe here for your FREE
SIP TRUNKING enewslettter.

Featured Partner


Featured Whitepapers

SIP Security for the Enterprise
Voice over IP (VoIP) is incorporated into a variety of computer networks, both public and private, and used for everyday transactions and communications among carriers, businesses, government agencies...

Making A Broadband Purchase Decision
Businesses today have many options for broadband connectivity. Clarifying your particular business needs prior to selecting a broadband provider will ensure an optimal match of broadband service to your requirements.

Voice-Optimized Network Delivers Premier Call Experience
Customers equate call quality with business quality. Real-time communication, interpersonal interaction, and the cordial tone of a call center representative can create a positive impression of your business that no email can match.

Featured Case Studies

Business Telecom Expenses Reduced 50%
A small to medium sized company in the midwest was interested in migrating to IP Communications, but in today's economy, they were hesitant to upgrade their communication system due to their perception that the cost would outweigh the benefits.

Multi-State Company Cuts Telecom Costs 50%
A multi-site, multi-state company with extensive monthly long distance fees and toll-free charges did not have adequate broadband for Broadvox SIP Trunking requirements, nor did they have a SIP enabled telephone system.

Discover Leisure Connects Remote Users to its IP-PBX
Discover Leisure is one of the largest resellers of caravans and motor homes in the UK. With 15 branch of?ces all over the country, the company spent a great deal of money every month just on internal phone calls.

Featured eBOOKS

Internet+: The Way Toward Global Unified Communication
Connecting the telephony of the enterprise PBX or Unified Communications (UC) system using SIP trunks instead of conventional telephone lines has been very successful in recent years.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 2
SIP trunking is becoming more of a focus for service providers. One key issue many service providers face when deploying SIP trunks is NAT, or Network Address Translation, traversal.

What is SIP Trunking? Edition 1
A vast resource for information about all things SIP - including SIP, security, VoIP, SIP trunking and Unified Communications.

Featured Videos

Broadvox VAR Testimonial VAR 1:
Part 1 of the VAR (Value Added Reseller) Partner Program Testimonials for Broadvox...

E-SBCs AS The Demarcation Point:
Ingate's Steve Johnson talks to Erik Linask about the role session border controller plays as the demarcation point at...

Demystifying DPI
How can deep packet inspection protect your SIP traffic as well as your entire network?

Featured Resources

Partner Program Overview:
Over 4,000 VARs, Master Agents, Solution Providers, and Independent IT Professionals trust Broadvox. We offer customized services and solutions to fit seamlessly into any company's business model. And when you partner with Broadvox, every member of our team stands behind you and your customers 100%...

SIP Trunk UC Summit

What's New

Presenting the New Ingate/Intertex Website:
Internet+ is an extended Internet access allowing high quality SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) based real-time person-to-person communication, everywhere and for any application. It applies to both fixed and mobile networks ...

Featured Blogs

Featured Webinars

Secure SIP Trunking:
What You Need to Know

Successfully Deploying Enterprise SIP Trunking:
Tools and Techniques for Overcoming Common Roadblocks

Featured Podcasts

Getting the Most Out of Your SIP Trunks:
Ingate's Steve Johnson and TMC's Erik Linask discuss how best practices forgetting the most out of SIP Trunking services and common pitfalls to avoid.

Featured Datasheets

Ingate SIParator E-SBCs
Adopting SIP is a simple process with the Ingate SIParator, the secure enterprise session border controller (E-SBC). The SIParator makes secure SIP communications - including VoIP,SIP trunking and more - possible while working seamlessly with your existing network firewall.

Ingate Firewalls
Everyone is talking about enterprise usage of VoIP, instant messaging and other types of realtime communications including presence and conferencing.

SIP Trunk Solutions for Service Providers
The award-winning Ingate Firewall and Ingate SIParator deliver a high quality, reliable SIP trunk connection between the customer's IP-PBX and the service provider network, and solve interoperability issues to simplify deployments and support for remote diagnosis of reported issues.