|City of Lawrenceville targets five properties to be cleaned up|
LAWRENCEVILLE - The city of Lawrenceville has a list of 21 properties it would like to see condemned. That includes a group of five that the city will focus on this year.
"One house like that can ruin the whole block," said Lawrenceville Mayor Don Wagner. "People deserve to live in a decent neighborhood. These houses that have gone to pot need to either be taken down or cleaned up. It makes the city a nicer place to live."
Properties on the fast track are located at 404 Locust, 409 Locust, 605 Lexington, 904 12th and 1808 12th.
Wagner said the property owners have been notified.
"One of them is playing games," he said. "She's paid the water bill, but nobody is living there."
Since the properties have been posted, Wagner says that serves as notification. The owners have 60 days to improve the situation.
"If they don't, we have the option of tearing them down," he said.
Should demolition take place, it would be at the city's expense,
"But then we'd get the lot," Wagner said.
He's not optimistic that any of the properties will be cleaned up.
"They usually aren't," he said. "But if the city gets the property, it will be sold at auction and we'll get it back on the tax rolls."
In his seven years in office, Wagner estimates that the city has taken over "15 to 20" properties that had been let go.
If he has his way, that number will grow by five in 2020.
"The problem is, more and more of them keep cropping up," he said. "All we're asking is for people to take care of their houses."