Boarded-up houses put a blemish on some Macon neighborhoods, and city council member Tom Ellington says he wants to clean them up.
He asked the city to come up with a master plan to demolish more abandoned houses and to work with people to fix their properties.
More than 400 homes are on the city's demolition list. It can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 to demolish just one house.
Ellington is also challenging the city to come up with more cost-effective ways to clean up blight.
"Honestly, if we're being proactive, we're going to be able to get on top of problems before they get to the point that the structure has to be demolished. If all we're doing is tearing things down, we're losing," says Ellington.
Ellington proposed allowing groups to turn empty city lots into community gardens.
A group of two or more could sign up for an unused spot for an annual fee of $10 plus the cost of maintenance.
They would also have to follow guidelines on what's put in the garden and its use.