The city of Brownfield is conducting a major overhaul - tearing down old, abandoned homes.
The city began the abatement program in 2011 and since then, they have torn down more than 80 dilapidated houses.
City officials call the rundown houses eyesores and say they attract vandals. So in 2011, the city began tagging the properties with orange flyers and tearing them down.
The city torn down 28 structures in 2011. In 2012, they tore down an additional 32 houses. So far this year, they've already torn down 23 abandoned homes and that doesn't include the properties that have been tagged or taken before the zoning board.
Kitha Tankersley, administrative assistant with the Code Enforcement Department, says the longer a residence sits abandoned and in disrepair, the more likely they are to be targeted by criminals. The criminals often vandalize the property or use it to commit crimes like drug use.
"Vandals will tear up things. People will go in and strip the wires to sell," Tankersley said.
After seeing progress in 2011, the city formed a team called DAART, which stands for Dangerous Area Assessment Response Team. The group consists of officials from the Health Department, Fire Department, Police Department and Building Inspection. The group helps to select homes and considers a variety of issues related to the problem of dilapidated houses in Brownfield.
City officials say the overall goal of their program is to clean up the city of Brownfield and make it a safer, more enjoyable place to live.
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