by Antonio Lujan
ODESSA - At one time these buildings stood strong and tall, symbols of what was once a stong economy here in the Basin.
Now, the walls are falling apart and the only thing left are remnants of former owners.
Keeping neighborhoods clean is always a priority for communities like ours, but it's also required by law.
And so removing structures that pose a threat and lie in flood zones is one way the City of Odessa is doing just that.
"Unfortunately, we have dozens and dozens of these properties in our community and the city's task is to try and remove as many of those as we can," Asst. City Manager Michael Marrero said.
The City generally gets rid of 60 to 80 buildings every year.
The majority of the buildings in question to be removed or rehabilitated are old and abandonded structures like the one located on the 300 block of S. Tom Green.
"The Federal Government is concerned about the potentiality for significant floods within a given area and those floods according to the federal agency could happen anywhere between 500 or 100 years," Marrero said.
City inspectors have already slapped on a couple of notices on homes that do not meet State standards.
"Our initial step is to try and identify who the owners are. Make some contact with them through registered mail. Ask them to comply. When we don't get any compliance, we generally will take these cases to our board of survey," Marrero said.
Assistant City Manager, Michael Marrero says, the Community Development Department only pays for the costs of demolishing abandonded homes, but if the structure is a business, the owner will have to pay the city back.