Demolition’s not easy, but it’s often best

Published 2:25 am Saturday, January 23, 2016

We would like to thank the city of Bogalusa for cleaning up the dilapidated building on Alabama Avenue.

While everyone would prefer to see buildings go up than to see them go down, there is a need to maintain an attractive town if we hope to see buildings go up. In addition, empty, decaying buildings present dangers to curious children and shelter for illicit activities. In short, there is little public good that comes from these deteriorating buildings and the city council has a duty to protect the public and improve the city.

To that end, we hope the city will seek funding through grants or other means this year to continue demolishing dangerous, dilapidated buildings. Perhaps through an increase in teardowns, the city can spur building owners into performing adequate repairs on buildings they hope to save.

That said, we would like to remind the city to work with building owners when possible and give owners a chance to rebuild, if possible. We realize some badly dilapidated buildings may require steep costs for repair and that these things take time. The city should be willing to provide that time.

That said, if the city council does not see any repairs made in the months and years it takes to begin demolition, at what point should the city take action? Time alone does not fix broken down buildings.

Furthermore, most banks offer loans for home and building improvement projects. If, after months, it becomes obvious that no bank will underwrite a repair, then perhaps the fix can’t be made. Even then, if an owner still believes there is value in the building, they may sell it to someone who has the money to fix it up.

But, again, if after months and years, no buyer comes forward, we think the proper course of action would be clear and we would hope the building owner would do the right thing and remove the building on his or her own.

And if not, we are happy to see the city step in and get the job done.