The shells of houses in an unfinished subdivision in northeastern Forsyth should soon be coming down.
At a work session on Tuesday the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to award a bid to demolish 18 structures in the Greenleaf subdivision, where work stopped in 2006. Work will be handled by New Beach Construction Partners Inc. of Miami for $187,200.
The county approved the demolition in late June but has taken longer due to potentially dangerous materials used in building.
“Previously the board approved moving forward with this,” said Donna Kukarola, the county’s procurement director. “There are a total of 18 structures that would be demolished. It’s taking a little bit of time to get to them, and we have to have them tested for asbestos prior to it.
“We have had a positive hit [for asbestos] in mastic [adhesives] behind the mirrors.”
The structures in the subdivision are in poor quality, have been vandalized and were built without proper infrastructure, which means they could not be completed.
Two men tied to the 40-acre development have been sentenced to federal prison and forced to many millions in restitution over a mortgage fraud scheme.
In the nine years since work stopped, the area, which BOC Chairman Pete Amos called an “eyesore,” has been used for illegal dumping and other crimes.
County Attorney Ken Jarrard said during the meeting that the county would be putting liens — a penalty until a debt is paid — on the properties that must be demolished. Two other structures in the subdivision were built and removed voluntarily.
At the meeting in June when the demolition was approved, Jarrard said that the county could potentially condemn the lots in the future.
At that same meeting, the idea of the Forsyth County Fire Department using the structures for training came up, but Division Chief Jason Shivers said they were too unsafe for firefighters.
“They’re dangerous,” he said. “They’re in various states of disrepair. Some of my training team did go take a glance at them just to see, if this question ever did come up, and that was some time ago.”