Sheffield ready to start demolition on a dozen homes

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SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WHNT) – For several years now, Sheffield leaders have been trying to rid the city of rundown structures. Unable to assume the costs of demolition, they’ve been trying to get grants to help.

Call it an early Christmas present, but they’ve landed one and reports say they’re geared up and ready to go.

Imagine having to look at a two-story dilapidated home on East 5th Street from your front porch every day. For more than two years, the city of Sheffield has wanted to tear it down.

In fact, there are about 50 homes in the city in similar condition, and the mayor and council want to get rid of them.  Mayor Ian Sanford said the homes are hazards to the neighborhoods.

“We’re going in the neighborhoods and seeing really the worst of the worst, and dealing with them,” Sanford told WHNT News 19.

And thanks to an ADECA grant, they can move forward with the process.

The first 12 on the list are homes in which the owners volunteered to have it torn down, at no cost to them or the city.

Mayor Sanford said it’s a start in a much bigger picture.

“We feel very fortunate. These 12 houses don’t seem like much to a lot of people, but they do to us,” explained Sanford. “We’re going to keep applying and hope we get some more to do this.”

Slowly but surely Sanford said, they’re making a difference and this grant has helped immensely.

Once the demolition is complete, the owners retain the property in a shape in which they can take care of it.

The city of Sheffield is waiting on final approval from ADEM before contractors can start to work.