The Town of Ferriday received a $35,000 LGAP grant to tear down condemned houses in Ferriday.
"The most important thing is people driving through Ferriday and seeing what it looks like," said Ferriday Mayor Sherrie McMahon. "That's why doing this is so important."
Clint Vegas, a volunteer for the town, has ridden around taking pictures of houses that need to be condemned. He has 45 houses in his folder.
"I figure we will be in the 60s," Vegas said.
Vegas, who owns Delta Fuel in Ferriday, said his company would donate the use of a dozer and track hoe.
The town would have to pay the driver and the dumping fees.
"I would like to see the town come in and if the owners want it knocked down the town could do it for $250," Vegas said. "There also needs to be a certain criteria for grass cutting. If the town has to cut the grass, it should be added to the owner's tax rolls at the end of the year. If they can't pay that, then the town should take over."
Currently, the Town of Ferriday has an ordinance stating that the mayor and board of aldermen may condemn and cause to be demolished, or removed, any building or structure within the corporate limits of the town when it is in a dilapidated and dangerous condition that endangers the public welfare.
Once a building is recommended to the board, the mayor can serve notice to the owner requiring them to show cause at a town meeting why the building should not be condemned.
If the owner of the building or structure is absent from the state and is unrepresented, the notice shall be served upon the occupant of the condemned structure and also upon the attorney at law.
In case of grave public emergency where the condition of the building is such as to cause possible immediate loss or damage to person or property, the mayor and board of aldermen may condemn the building after 24 hours' notice served upon the owner or his agent.
"Owners who say they will fix up their property should show written plans with a timeline," McMahon said.
Vegas said he would appear before the board about strengthening the current ordinance.
"Right now I'm thinking it would cost $1,500 to tear down a house," Vegas said. "I would also love to see businesses donating and helping out. We need to put more teeth into our ordinance. One thing I have found is the neighbors are all for us coming in and taking down condemned houses. It's better for their properties."