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Florence Moves to Foreclose on Blighted Properties

The City of Florence is moving to foreclose on blighted properties.

City Administrator Alex Mattingly presented three cases of blighted properties at Tuesday night's city council meeting, and explained the steps that could be taken.

The properties are found at 10 Valley Drive, 20 Drexel Avenue, and 88 Meadow Creek Drive.

Pictures of the properties were presented, showing some of the violations, which have resulted in thousands of dollars in fines. The municipal orders that were requested in the process were partially a suit to recoup those fines. The city presented the case for foreclosure, and in all three cases, council agreed to proceed.

In two of the cases however, abatement procedures were instituted. In the case of Valley Drive, the owner came to the meeting, and explained that he was having problems, but he was really trying now to bring his property up to code. Mayor Diane Whalen told him that she appreciated his efforts and she hoped he would continue the efforts until the property is not a problem in the neighborhood, but the foreclosure would proceed concurrently with the abatement.

She also reiterated what was said before, that the foreclosure is slow moving and can be stopped if Public Services feel enough progress has been made.

On the Meadow Creek Drive property, abatement procedures were instituted when the landlord, who lives in Arizona, stepped up and fixed 80 percent of the violations.    

The owner of the Drexel property has not responded to any of the attempts to contact them.

Council voted to proceed with the foreclosures, and to have the proceedings continue side by side with the two properties that are in abatement.

Other notes:

Council heard the first reading of an ordinance annexing approximately 2.929 acres located at the northeast right of way of Weaver road, 20 feet southwest of Morgan Trace Drive, within the Saddlebrook subdivision. The requesting party is Weaver Road Properties, LLC, and eleven homes are scheduled to be built there. The road will not connect into Saddlebrook, however.

Mayor Whalen announced that the city's Fourth of July celebration will be held at UC Health Stadium again this year.   

The next council meeting will be on July 11.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor