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Weslaco to Resume Demolition of Dilapidated Houses

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Posted: Nov 7, 2012 4:35 PM

Updated: Nov 8, 2012 12:26 AM

WESLACO - City crews will demolish several dilapidated houses in Weslaco, officials said.

The initial plan to raze the structures was put on hold after a ruling from the Texas Supreme Court.

The judgment ordered municipalities to take property owners to court before tearing down abandoned houses. A later ruling changed that allowing cities to resume demolitions.

The danger of abandoned structures hit home for some Weslaco residents when a house burned last month. The house next door also was damaged.

The owner of the damaged house said the ramshackle structure next door was condemned years ago.

"It had a paper out front, to be demolished, condemned, but they never did anything," Godofredo Casares said.

That structure is on the latest list of condemned houses to be razed. Another house on the list is at 109 South Kansas Street. Felipe Camacho lives next door to that house.

"It's very dangerous because you see it's next to my house and maybe in a hurricane it can fall down to my house. I need it torn down," Camacho said.

A house on the list, in the 600 block of Llano Grande, has been abandoned for 10 years, just like a graffiti magnet in the 2700 block of Oklahoma Street. Santiago Presas lives next to that house. He said it's time for it to come down.

"The kids hang in there. ... Who knows what they do in there? There's been times when they've tried to burn it down, so it's a pretty bad place for the kids to hang in there," Presas said.

Weslaco Health Official Joe Pedraza said the city has about $20,000 this fiscal year to tear down the houses. He said each demolition costs a few thousand dollars. Neighbors said it's a good investment.

Mercedes officials said they also are on track to resume demolitions. The city condemned one building there this week. The owner has 30 days to appeal that decision.

Topics: weslaco, demolition, homes, abandoned

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