Florence moves forward with blight property removal across the city

FLORENCE, Ala. – A major city clean-up project is underway in Florence right now. Working with property owners, the city is removing dilapidated structures considered a nuisance.

With one swing of the boom arm, a section of this Pine Street home falls to the ground. It's one of two burned out homes which have sat in the neighborhood for nearly two years.

Melissa Bailey, Florence Planning Director

“We remove the building itself and clear the lot, in hopes of completing the circle of redevelopment,” said Florence Planning Director Melissa Bailey.

Community Development Block Grants cover the costs.

Bailey said the city got serious about cleaning up structures like these five years ago. More than 125 blight properties have been demolished to date.

“Five years ago we started out with just a handful a year, and now we are working on 20 or 30 a year,” Bailey explained.

According to Bailey, the city wants to protect the neighbors who have to live near these locations. Seven more are slated to be removed in the coming weeks.

“Our number one mission is to ensure that we are creating great neighborhoods, or making great neighborhoods even better,” Bailey stated.

When it’s all said and done, the property owner can redevelop or sell the lot.

According to city leaders in Florence, there are more than 100 structures which have been identified as blight properties.

Property owners wishing to participate in the removal program can contact the Florence Planning Department.