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      Georgetown cleaning up abandoned homes

      GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCIV) - The abandoned homes problem is getting better, according to the city of Georgetown.

      Janet Grant is the code enforcement officer for the city. She says people have been responsive in one way or another to letters they've sent out.

      "Citizens are reacting to them very fast either renovating them or demolishing them," she said.

      A construction crew worked on renovating a Church Street house Wednesday. It is a house neighbors said in March about their frustrations with its appearance and the animals it was attracting.

      Grant says for this particular home, the owners finally responded to the city and opted to renovate it themselves rather than tear it down.

      She says to date there are 110 abandoned properties throughout Georgetown. Grant says there was about 260 properties on the city's list five years ago.

      Money is a big factor Grant said, and some people are letting the city tear down the homes. She says the city will tear down 11 structures by June 30.

      "The city granted us last year a certain amount of money that we could use towards tearing the houses down that we choose that are in such a safety hazard state," she said.

      That grant was for $75,000.

      Councilman Paige Sawyer has been advocate for the issue but doesn't agree that the city should pick up the tab.

      "My concern is that the city taxpayers are fitting the bill for some of these and I think it should be the concern of the property owner," Sawyer said.

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