Downtown Code Enforcement - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03-24-08-Lufkin

Downtown Code Enforcement

by Tashun Chism

Of all the different businesses in Lufkin's Main Street District, the one at 119 South First Street really stands out, and not in a good way.

Jennifer Farmer, who works near the building, said "I think the building is a real eyesore and it really takes away from what we're trying to do with the downtown area."

Lufkin city officials want to revitilize the downtown area, but run down buildings like the one at 119 South First Street have the potential to make that difficult. Neighboring business owners are unhappy about the vacant, mold-infested building.

"Back last summer I got a call from the neighbor of 119 on South First Street. The complaint was that water was coming through the wall," the city of Lufkin's Certified Building Official Dale Allred told us.

The building that houses Williams and Byrd attorney's office has also drawn complaints. Neighbors say it's infested with bats. The bats reportedly enter through a hole above an upstairs window. The pavement below is covered with bat droppings. The building's owner declinded to speak on camera, but he did tell us that the hole came when lightening struck the side of the building two weeks ago. He also say's it's in the process of getting repaired. But it's not uncommon for bats to get into downtown buildings from time to time.

"The City of Lufkin doesn't have bat problems. The state of Texas is one of the bat capitals of the world. A lot of people don't realize that," Allred added.

Mike Hicks, Board President of Main Street Lufkin, said, "There's bat problems. There's problems with roaches and different roaches. Mold issues and so forth, but those are some of the things that we've kind of got to move foward on."

City officials are doing their best to clean up downtown buildings, including working on a Historical Reservation Ordinance. Once passed, it's expected to give owners more incentive to keep their buildings in good shape.

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