MAYOR PARKER'S ORDERS "DEMOLITION DAY" OF DANGEROUS BUILDINGS IN HOUSTON
May 22, 2010 -- With a big helping hand from the Houston Contractors Association (HCA), Mayor Annise Parker today initiated “Demolition Day,” the destruction of 185 abandoned, dangerous buildings and crack houses around Houston, the most structures ever removed in one day.
HCA volunteers will bulldoze 103 of the buildings, a donation that will save the City of Houston an estimated $370,000. City contractors will take down the other 82 properties, which have asbestos problems or are structurally unsound. CenterPoint Energy is helping by disconnecting the gas meters at each location.
“Removing dangerous buildings that serve as havens for crime, drugs and prostitution makes our neighborhoods safer,” said Mayor Parker. “I am thankful to the HCA volunteers. It is due to their help that we are able to remove so many of these structures at one time. It’s a win-win-win: good for neighborhoods, good for public safety and good for public health.”
HCA, formed in 1956, is a nonprofit that represents the civil construction industry in the greater Houston area. There are approximately 400 member companies that build Houston roadways, bridges, water and storm sewers, and other civil projects.
“HCA is proud to offer this service to the City of Houston and Mayor Parker,” said Jim Slack, Jr., HCA President. “It feels great to be able to give back to a community that’s given so much to us.”
The city is on track to have torn down 831 buildings by the end of the current fiscal year on June 30, setting a new record and far surpassing the initial goal of removing 600 dangerous buildings this fiscal year. The cost for Demolition Day is $1.3 million. The City will attempt to recover these costs by placing liens on the properties. The city takes action to remove a dangerous building only after the owner has ignored repeated orders to take care of the problem.