The city demolished a blighted house at 116 Walnut St., on Thursday, in the Six Corners area, saying it expands efforts to reduce blight in neighborhoods and to continue the city's recovery from the 2011 tornado.
"This has been a long blighted property," Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said during a press conference in front of the newly razed property. "This continues our attack on derelict properties for quality of life issues in our neighborhood areas."
The city will place a lien on the privately-owned property to recover the cost of demolition, officials said.
The total cost of demolition and asbestos abatement was $47,050. Associated Building Wreckers was hired for demolition and Cardno/ATC of West Springfield was hired for the environmental oversight.
The city used federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds for the project, as that area of the city was affected by the tornado of June 1, 2011.
The demolition was court ordered, as pursued by the city, and is "a priority of our residents," Sarno said.
David Cotter, the city's deputy director of code enforcement, said blighted properties, such as that on Walnut Street, have a negative impact on surrounding properties.
"We have a history now of going from house to house, street to street and neighborhood to neighborhood, and once it comes to us, we don't stop until we get a resolution for it," Cotter said.
Blighted houses such as that on Walnut Street, if not addressed, can become a harbor for criminal activity, a drug haven, and infestation with rodents, he said.
Tina Quagliato, the city's deputy driector of disaster recovery and compliance,,said the demolitioin effort will continue aided by the federal funds from Housing and Urban Development and city bond funds approved by Sarno and the City Council.
Sarno said the multiple city departments including police are conducting conducts joint inspections of derelict properties to investigate the conditions and activity.