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Macon Council Discusses Abandoned Houses Investigation

12:20 AM, Nov 20, 2012   |    comments
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Some Macon city council members want to investigate abandoned houses and how banks handle them.

Monday night, members decided to allow the Ordinances and Resolutions committee to head that up. The committee is made up of chairs from the other council committees.

Members of Economic and Community Development told council at the beginning of November that abandoned houses are a growing problem throughout the city finding their owners can be an even bigger issue.

The city cannot demolish or clean up the vacant properties without the owner's permission.

Councilman Tom Ellington says part of the problem also stems from miscommunication between banks and the homeowners.

He says, "We hope to get a handle on the nature of the policies that have lead banks to begin foreclosure proceedings and then not execute the deeds that are required to complete that process. So I'm hoping to uncover some of the policies that have lead to this. There's also just the matter of getting our hands around the scope of the problem."

Ellington says the city has already started a list of banks and witnesses. He hopes they can start interviewing them early next year.

The investigation still has to go before the full council for a vote Tuesday night before it can begin.

Council will also vote on an ordinance to redistribute 0.33% of the Hotel-Motel Excise Tax to the Sports Hall of Fame and the Douglass Theatre. That money used to go to the Music Hall of Fame.

Also on the agenda for Tuesday is the resolution to give ownership of the Terminal Station building to the Macon Transit Authority.

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