East Ark property owners stepping up, demolishing dilapidated buildings

FORREST CITY (Times-Herald) - Code Enforcement Officer Connie Muqtasid is wrapping up a busy 2012 even as progress is being made to demolish dilapidated buildings throughout the city.

According to Muqtasid, work is currently under way to finish a demolition project on West Broadway while private contractors are working on other projects around the city.

"We're currently finishing demolition and clean up on the property over on West Broadway near the intersection with Scott Street. We still have some properties on the list from last year to get to, but we are making progress, and the really nice thing is {}we're seeing citizens taking the initiative to tear down some of these old homes and clean up their property," said Muqtasid.

"We have one property owner on Hill Street who is demolishing two or three homes, and I've been contacted by someone else with property off of West Broadway who is going to demolish one of the homes that we've been looking at," Muqtasid said. "I think it's great to see people stepping up and doing something to help make our city look better."

While the city continues its efforts to move forward on home condemnations, Muqtasid said she plans to meet with Mayor Larry Bryant to discuss several properties in the near future.

"We have to put our list together for this year. I have to sit down with the mayor so that we can discuss properties that I'm concerned with and ones that he has noticed so that we can put a list together," Muqtasid added.

Muqtasid said there are no current updates on efforts to have the final Front Street debris from last May's fire removed. Two of the three property owners who had buildings destroyed during the fire have removed the debris from the downtown site.

NewG Holdings, LLC., owns the properties at 509 and 511 Front Street. Dr. Xavier Haymer owned the buildings at 101 through 105 Front Street, and the offices at 117 S. Washington Street included the law offices of Sharp, Beavers, Cline and Wright along with the office of architect Bob Beavers. The property belonging to the law firm and Haymer has been cleared.

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