Jennings to demolish blighted properties for a safer, more beautiful city

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JENNINGS, La. (KLFY)- Several blighted properties in Jennings will be demolished in the coming weeks to help with the beautification of the city and to make room for investors.

“Right now we have almost 40, adjudicated properties that are deplorable,” said Mayor Henry Guinn.

He tells News 10 that taking down these properties would not only help with the city’s aesthetic, but it would also benefit those who live nearby.

“It’s good for the community, it’s good for the neighborhood that it’s in, and it really restores property values,” the mayor said.

Jennings resident, Kayla Gary, says she’s excited for that opportunity.

“They become an eyesore and they make everyone else’s property look absolutely terrible. And [for] those of us who care about our property, it’s a good thing. It needs to be done and I think Mayor Guinn is doing a wonderful job doing that– tearing down bad looking properties.”

Guinn says another benefit to tearing down the properties is that it makes the city a little safer.

“What we found through our police department is a lot of illegal activity is taking place on these properties,” he said. “Some of these houses were storing drugs, or there were people squatting in those homes. And we don’t want that. We don’t condone that. So the best remedy is to get rid of it.”

Guinn’s hope is that with a safer and more beautiful city, investors will come in.

“We’re gonna try, once we have the properties cleaned, to put them back on the market, and sell them to private citizens who can find a new purpose for them,” he explains.

That’s another thing Gary said she is looking forward to. “He’s dead on right with that because when you have a town that’s attractive to people, it’s about the quality of life for the people that pay taxes,” she said. “And you certainly want those people to want to bring their families here and we want new businesses. That’s good for everybody.”

The mayor says there’s been so much support from the community that they may not get to all the properties requested to be demolished this fiscal year, but he says there’s always next year.

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