Center City Council introduces structure demolition grant

CENTER, TX (KTRE) - City of Center Press Release

The Center City Council hopes that dilapidated and dangerous houses will soon be a thing of Center's past.  The Center City Council adopted an ordinance at its regular April 25 meeting, creating a house demolition grant program.  "This program allows a property owner to be reimbursed up to $3,000 for the cost of demolishing and removing a dangerous structure and building a new house on the property," described Center Mayor David Chadwick.  "Not only do we hope to see some additional houses built in Center, but we expect that the character of some neighborhoods will change for the better."

"Whenever a home sits vacant for a long time or the owners neglect maintenance, it has a spreading effect which influences other houses in the neighborhood," explained Center City Manager Chad Nehring.  "Pretty soon, nearby homeowners are deferring maintenance, values begin to decline, which erodes pride of ownership."

The City hopes that this will be a tool for property owners to beautify and re-develop some neighborhoods in Center.  This tool provides an incentive to private land owners to use a piece of property that has a deteriorated structure on it.  The city will assist in clearing the lot, and they can build a new house.  The house does not necessarily have to be vacant in order to be approved, but it must be the property owner who initiates the process.

This new program allows for a property owner to complete an application to determine that the house meets the criteria of being labeled a dangerous structure.  The applicant must also provide a clear title to the land and the house.  Once the city issues a demolition permit and the application is approved then demolition work can begin.  "Once the house has been torn down and a new house completed in its place, then the city will issue a reimbursement check for the cost of demolition up to $3,000," detailed Mayor Chadwick.

Property owners who are interested in participating in this program may go by the City Building and Inspection department at 205 Nacogdoches Street to pick up the application, or call Jim Gibson at 936/598-2941 for more information.