Sweet Springs Tears Down to Build Up
Crumbling buildings and falling bricks are causing problems for Sweet Springs residents.
"They need to be destroyed," said Roy Hunter, economic development director. "I mean, they're falling down, which cause a risk to passerbyers and adjacent property owners."
The buildings are at least 100 years old and, after years of deteriorating, falling bricks and debris are a safety concern.
But, owners say they can't afford to tear them down. But, the city council has a $56,000 block grant, so officials hope cleaning up the area will attract new businesses.
"We want to take the blight out of the community," explained Mayor Roxanne Hinton, "to try to spur some growth up the street. They are desperate for some retail facilities there, a dollar store-type facility, because, right now, they all have to drive out of town to just get the basic necessities."
But, some residents, like Betty Hosier, have other ideas.
"I want to get it cleaned up and either explore the possibility of building a community center or a park," she said. "A commemorative park as to what these buildings once were, what they stood for, who was in them."
After the buildings are torn down, landowners will decide how to use the sites. City officials are negotiating with the owners about the demolition plan.