Unsold homes absorb more damage

Sep. 19, 2013 @ 04:39 PM

Six neighborhood stabilization program properties owned by Vance County have sustained vandalism damage exceeding $23,000.

Consultant Michael Inscoe, also a city councilman, reported on damage and theft losses at the properties from the program managed by the Kerr-Tar Regional Council of Governments.

According to Inscoe, his estimates were reported to county leaders and Kerr-Tar. The report formed the basis for estimates included in Henderson police reports, which were itemized and totaled $23,440.

• At 661 Charles St., $2,750 vandalism damage. The home has been vacant since being built in December 2010, according to a previous report in The Dispatch.

• At 454 Cross St., $6,000 worth of heating and air conditioning equipment and wires stolen.

• At 460 Cross St., $6,000 worth of heating and air conditioning equipment and wires stolen. In March, The Dispatch reported a visit to the home and finding a suspicious smell possibly from drugs, a kicked in front door, wires torn out from the electric unit and mud tracked through the inside.

• At 463 Poplar St., $650 damage to water pipes.

• At 467 Poplar St., $300 damage to vinyl facing.

• At 534 Horner St., $3,840 worth of wires, pipes, vinyl sheets and fixtures stolen, and another $3,700 damage from vandalism.

The property management project stems from an agreement between county leaders and Kerr-Tar, according to Diane Cox, interim director.

Cox indicated totals on all costs stemming from the incidents would range a couple thousand dollars higher than the itemized damages and losses in the police reports.

“The assessments for those have been estimated and total right at $26,000,” Cox said. “The issue has been that the houses have been unoccupied. The county has not been successful in selling them.”

She confirmed the neighborhood stabilization project built the homes from grant funding the county received about three years ago. She and Inscoe agreed the incidents reported Monday may have taken place several months ago.

“I found many of the damages,” Inscoe said. “These incidents actually took place sometime back. Some of them have some extensive damage.”

Inscoe’s assessment was done as part of a consulting contract he holds with Kerr-Tar.

“The properties were all built for the neighborhood stabilization project,” Inscoe said. “The county needs completed police reports for insurance purposes.”

According to Henderson Police Lt. Alan Hedgepeth, the investigation into the incidents is ongoing, but there are no suspects at this time.

All the properties have been vacant “for quite some time,” Hedgepeth added.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.