Laurinburg City Council is expected to approve a funding request tonight that would allow for several homes on the city’s condemnations list to be destroyed in the current fiscal year.
Operated by the city’s planning and zoning department, the condemnations program has successfully condemned and demolished 15 homes, spending the $30,000 it was budgeted barely a third of the way through the 2012-13 fiscal year.
According to City Manager Ed Burchins, several of the homes that were demolished this year were actually holdovers from the past financial year.
Planning director Brandi Deese spoke on behalf of the program at last week’s agenda meeting, asking that the city allow the program $11,108 that went unspent during the 2011-12 fiscal year. That balance had gone into the general fund.
“(Extending these funds) will allow us to get to the houses in the most need,” Deese said.
Assuming the additional funds are granted, the city will move immediately to approve the condemnation and demolition of three properties located on 317 Douglas Street, 12500 Laurelcrest Road and 16205 Omega Street.
Thanks to a vote by council earlier in the year to streamline the condemnations process, more homes are being condemned and demolished than ever before.
Burchins said that cleaning up the properties on the city’s long list helps increase property values and prevent crime.
Council had decided at an earlier meeting to put off a decision on extending the condemnations program’s budget until Jan. of 2013.
The city will also receive a presentation from Scotland County Manager Kevin Patterson informing them of a referendum item being supported by the county.
Over the summer the county agreed to place on the ballot a referendum asking voters if they would support a quarter penny local sales tax. Since that time Patterson and several board members have been promoting a “yes” vote on the referendum item by presenting information about the tax at meetings of various civic and social organizations.
The city council meets at 7 p.m. at the municipal building at 303 West Church Street.