County to tear down dilapidated homes, one near playground

by: Liz Artz Updated:

ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. - Rockdale County is weeks away from tearing down rundown houses that are posing dangers to the community.
 

One home on Grimes Street has insulation exposed, and county leaders fear there is asbestos throughout the old home and right across the street from a playground.
 
Tianna Alcarez is thrilled Rockdale County is about to take down the house that sits across the street from her home. For nine years it's been an eyesore, a safety hazard and as her family grows, she worries about the danger it poses.
 
"I think every kid gets curious and wants to know what's in the spooky house,” Alcarez said.
 
Tevin Williams told Channel 2 his concern is the crime it attracts to their Conyers street.
 
“All type of people go in the house you know taking things out. [It] should have been tore down nine years ago when we came here,” Williams said.
 
It’s one of four houses the county will spend tens of thousands of dollars get rid of this month. It's less than a mile from another old house, that's  been vacant for 15 years. The house is only feet away from a neighborhood playground and basketball court.
 
Lawonda Stroud remembers the man who once lived there.
 
"He got sick and his sister moved him out,” Stroud said.
 
It hasn't had an occupant since. Rockdale County attempted to get the homeowners to demolish the houses, but Marshall Walker with planning and development said when those attempts failed the counted voted to do it and will put a lien on the properties to recoup the cost.
 
Each house is expected to cost $10,000 to tear down, but that price could increase depending on asbestos and other hazards they find when they start demolition.
 
County leaders plan to start the process within the next two weeks.