Abandoned homes to be demolished in mid Missouri

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MOBERLY - Empty dump trucks filed into a trash-filled backyard of a crumbling and condemned Bond Street home on Wednesday.

The dilapidated, run-down and abandoned home located at 805 Bond Street will soon be gone.

It is one of 12 homes in the Moberly community that will be demolished by the end of the year.

Moberly officials said houses like these make the city look bad and also create major health and safety concerns for the community.

"It poses a threat to the children in the neighborhood who like to play, who like to explore, and unfortunately old houses are not a good place for children. It also invites illegal activity because it is remote, no one checks on the property and it looks abandoned," said Steve Wilson, Moberly Building Inspector.

805 Bond Street has been abandoned for more than four years. Wilson said the family just one day left and never came back to get their things.

The City of Moberly tried to contact the family on numerous occasions through the mail and even with an ad in the newspaper, Wilson said, but never received a response.

One neighbor, who has lived across from the property for more than ten years, said the people who used to live in the house were ruthless. 

"The kids would steal from neighbors throughout the area and hide all of the stolen belongings in their garage. They were a three-generation welfare family," neighbor Benjamin Cousin said.

In the past, Moberly completed one to two demolitions a year, now they are up to 12 per year due to enhanced code enforcements.

The cost to condemn and demolish these "problem" properties on-average costs the city $6,500 to $10,000, Wilson said.

The house at 805 Bond street and the others the city will demolish are money pits, he said.

"We have the expenses of maintaining the property, if the door is open or there are holes, we have to patch those up so kids don't get in, so it's just a constant thing we need to keep an eye on until it's ultimately removed," he said.

Columbia and Jefferson City also take part in a community development program such as Moberly's.

On Monday, the Columbia City Council approved the demolition of a residential property on Garth Avenue, which could be completed by the end of the year.

Jefferson City is planning to demolish a house on East Ashley Street in November. Community Development officials said  the city is partnering up with Habitat for Humanity.

The non-profit organization will take ownership of the land and build low-to-moderate income housing on the land.