Tyler’s proposed budget to fund demolition of substandard buildings

Fire at abandoned downtown Tyler building among reasons for focus on blighted buildings
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Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 6:24 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The City of Tyler’s proposed budget calls for funding the demolition of substandard structures.

At a recent city council meeting, Tyler City Manager Edward Broussard said run-down buildings were brought to light in Dec. 2021 when firefighters narrowly escaped injury while inside a burning abandoned building. Several people who appeared to be homeless also had to be rescued from the building once known as the Tyson House, which was later deemed unsafe by the city.

“Nothing met the minimum standards,” said Chris Lennon, City of Tyler Code Enforcement Manager. “Lots of signs of homeless people: feces on the ground, urine smell.”

It’s buildings like the old Tyson House that Mayor Don Warren wants to see demolished.

“I want to get rid of substandard structures but also want to deal with blight,” Warren said.

The city’s proposed FY2023 budget sets aside $200,000 to deal with substandard buildings.

“We’ve historically dealt with residential structures through CDBG or the neighborhood services department, but it didn’t have the funding mechanism put in place for us to deal with businesses that were dilapidated like the Tyson House or other structures around town,” said Tyler Police Chief Jimmy Toler.

The city previously used federal funds to demolish substandard residential buildings, but could not use the funding for commercial buildings. A city spokesperson said the demolition of the Tyson House will likely take all $200,000 due to its large size.

“If they are smaller, it could be seven to 10 structures,” said the city spokesperson.


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