SOUTH MIAMI (CBS4) — The City of South Miami has moved to eliminate a neighborhood eyesore. Friday, bulldozers took down three, boarded-up houses on Southwest 60th Avenue that are abandoned “magnets” for crime.
Leading the charge was South Miami Mayor Phillip Stoddard, who helped in the demolition of the three abandoned homes which police say have long been used by drug users and other criminal types.
When asked what they found inside the homes, South Miami police Major Rene Landa replied, “Drug paraphernalia, different types of baggies, lighters, things that people have been showing us they’ve been using drugs inside these homes.”
South Miami police and code enforcement have teamed up to target an additional 25 properties to the delight of surrounding property owners.
“I feel good that they’re tearing them down,” said one resident. “ It’s been awhile. They needed to come down long time ago.”
It has taken more than a year to get the wrecking crew to work. There were legal hoops to jump through, hearings to be held and then there was the matter of the money to pay for the actual demolition.
“That was the big hurdle to go ahead and find the budget money in order for us to take it down and the community redevelopment agency was very nice and kind enough to go ahead and provide the moneys for that,” explained South Miami City Manager Hector Mirabile.
The property owners will not pay anything. The mayor says you can’t get blood out of turnip.
“You’ve got to take care of the neighborhood, if you don’t take care of the neighborhood, the whole neighborhood goes down,” said South Miami Mayor Phillip Stoddard.
This is part of a South Florida wide effort operation called Project Broken Window in cooperation with CBS4.
“We report on crime every single day. We felt like it was important that we did something to help prevent the crime before it starts,” explained CBS4 Vice President & General Manager Adam Levy.