Reality Check: Veteran claims city tore down family home without notice
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) —
A local veteran says the City of Mobile bulldozed her grandparents' home without any warning. The city has made tearing down blighted properties a priority, but in this case, was a mistake made? NBC 15's Andrea Ramey is pressing the city for answers in this Reality Check.
"This is my family's, and it's just gone. It's gone," said Charmie Scott.
Scott was stunned. Her grandparents' home, the home she was practically raised in had seemingly disappeared. This week she took to social media, and tears turned to anger.
"And they just tore it down like it was nothing. This is what you do to your soldiers?" said Scott.
This Army veteran, who served two tours overseas, says the home fell into disrepair after a fire in 2014. Records show Scott kept up on the property taxes, but she says, she struggled to come up with the cash to fix it up.
"I pay the taxes. I come out here myself and cut the grass. What else was I supposed to do?" said Scott.
Scott had considered tearing it down at one point, even filed an application with the city but later changed her mind. In 2015, the city sent her this notice telling her to repair the "dilapidated and unsecure" home. This letter, Scott says, is the only written notice she ever received.
"I did everything they told me to do. I boarded it up. I made sure I came out here and cut the grass," said Scott.
But it wasn't enough. Last year the city declared it a nuisance, and put it on a list of homes to be torn down. A picture on the city's website shows the home with a sign out front asking for information about the owner.
"And you never saw that sign?" asked Ramey.
"No," replied Scott.
The city insists it notified Scott throughout the process and told her what needed to be done to avoid demolition.
"It just hurts. I mean it's been in our family for over 90 years," said Scott.
Not only did Scott lose the home, she's going to be on the hook for the demolition. According to the city's policy, if the demolition costs aren't paid, a lien will be assessed