(Forrest City, AR) Property owners in Forrest City are learning what will happen if their home or business is falling down: it could be torn down.
Code Enforcement Officer Connie Muqtasid is attacking eyesores in an effort to clean up the city: one property at a time.
In 2012 her department took action against the owners of seventy-six dilapidated homes or businesses and had the properties demolished.
So far in 2013 she's already targeted thirteen properties, including a house on West Broadway,
"The roofing is caving in, the foundation structure is damaged and as you continue to walk around the building you see broken windows or doors that may be missing."
She says a lot of complaints about rundown homes come from the public, but Code Enforcement workers routinely cruise the streets looking for problems.
And it's not just residential property owners who need to take notice.
Connie Muqtasid says the old Frosty Freeze restaurant on West Broadway is a perfect example.
The building has been vacant for several years: windows are smashed and the roof has already collapsed,
"It needs to be cleaned up. It's just an eyesore and it could be a danger to the community, to the citizens here."
The city sends out a certified letter to property owners stating they need to take action.
If the city doesn't hear back from them the process goes to the next step,
"Then we place an article in the newspaper. And we place an article in the newspaper at least twice to let the property owners know we are trying to find them to condemn their properties."
If property owners don't respond, the city could decide to tear down the condemned building and bill the owner for the city's labor.