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Fort Payne man works to clean up the downtown area

FORT PAYNE, Ala. - The Mapco Gas Station on Gault avenue and old Fort Payne hospital have been around for many years, but Mayor Larry Chesser says it's time for them to go.

"Well the Mapco Station, if you drive by it, it's just a dilapidated, rundown, eyesore in my opinion," says Mayor Larry Chesser.

He's working with the owners to hopefully purchase the private property and use it as a parking lot.

"I get calls on a regular basis asking why we allow that kind of place in downtown," says Mayor Chesser.

If that can be done, the owners will be forced to renovate it.

"If it is such that it will blend in with our cultural time period and this sort of thing than it'll be great."

Now as for the old Fort Payne hospital, "It's got asbestos, lead paint, lead filling around the windows and got some diesel fuel tanks in the ground, this sort of thing."

The city sees it as not only an eyesore but also a potential safety hazard.

They've been working with ADEM, HUD and EPA to demolish it.

"Part of that was a fallout shelter and we wanted to save that and make it into a storm shelter and then the office space that was upstairs, make it into a community center and then clear the rest of the ground as just a green space area," says Mayor Chesser.

The goal of the two projects is to clean up Fort Payne.

"We're getting a lot of the businesses, having some face-lifts. We're working on several projects to kind of make downtown a little more hospitable."