After a lengthy process, Fulton now has a new "environmental" ordinance that will give city officials more teeth in ridding the town of uninhabitable structures.
"We have a list of houses," City Administrator Bill Johnson said Wednesday morning.
Bill No. 1500 means the city has a clearly defined policy and way forward in demolishing structured deemed unsafe, uninhabitable and dangerous. Local attorney Tom Riley worked on the ordinance for months, and Tuesday evening it became law with an unwavering vote by City Council members.
"We worked closely with Tom Riley to get an ordinance that's enforceable," Johnson added.
These structures are scattered throughout town. Some of these houses were destroyed by fire and boarded up and deserted by their owners. Others just fell apart and are beyond repair.
"There are maybe 40 houses in town that will be on the list, but we want to start small and get it right, get a little experience," Johnson said. "We need to find out what it's going to cost."
Johnson said if the city has to bear the cost of the tear-down, the owners will be charged via their property tax bill.
"It will be more expensive," Johnson said. "If the owners want to take these houses down, we strongly encourage them to do that."
The initial four houses currently are vacant, he added.