Hopeville Apartments coming down before Christmas Festival activities begin

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The first contractor quit the job at Summertree Apartments in the summer of 2017 and the project stalled. The structures have deteriorated, there is moss growing along the exposed and rotting wood and the exterior has been left exposed to the elements.

Carolyn Roy
Demolition of the Hopeville Apartments on Second Street may soon be a reality.
At the City Council meeting Monday, an ordinance was introduced to use American Rescue Plan funds to demolish eight properties including the apartments that have been a source of irritation to residents for years.
Regional Construction submitted the low bid of $153,540 to demolish the buildings. There was one other bid from Tudor Construction of Minden that was about $50,000 higher Mayor Ronnie Williams Jr. said. The ordinance will be voted on at the next council meeting Oct. 24.
Demolition can begin after that meeting and Williams said his goal is to have it completed at least two weeks before the Christmas Festival activities begin. Williams said the Sterling Bank of Missouri will still own the property and he doesn’t know what plans for the property will be after the demolition. He also is concerned about recouping the demolition expenses from the bank but at the same time is pleased that they will not be from the general fund.
The City first proposed demolition in 2019 but was met with litigation and delay tactics from the owners and bank financing the project.

418 Scarborough

Several other properties are included in the condemnation ordinance that Planning and Zoning Director Shontrell Roque described as having unsound floors, roofs, walls and other code violations such as lack of utility infrastructure.
Roque said one such structure, at 418 Scarborough, had a snake pit under the floor and she saw a snake there during an inspection. That building was first put on the condemnation list in March of 2013.
This structure at 418 Scarborough St. will be demolished once the City Council passes an ordinance introduced Monday.

Those eight properties do not include buildings that could be rehabilitated such as one on Rusbo Street in which a few people still live. She said it could be revitalized if the owner chose to do so.
Williams does not know how much money the City will spend on the demolitions since those services have not been bid.
418 Scarborough

Director of Recreation Kevin Warner had good news about removal of mold and installation of a new HVAC system at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation and Community Center.
Mold remediation will begin Monday with a contract of 45 days. Installation of the HVAC system should begin in January depending on availability and be finished at the end of the month. Warner said he had spent about $75,000 on the building since he went to work three years ago and the deterioration was because of its age. It was built in February of 1999.
The City adopted a resolution at the meeting accepting $600,000 from the La. Division of Admin. for additional costs in the form of a La. Community Development Block Grant for the mold remediation and new HVAC system. The City previously received a $1 million block grant for the project.
Summertree (Hopeville) Apartments Feb. 9, 2021