Oct 29, 2015 News
Several families and single occupants who reside in four derelict buildings at the infamous ‘Globe Yard’ are about to be out of house and home.
Most have resided there for more than 15 years, but following a decision made by councilors on October 12, last, City Hall’s demolition hammers fell on the front building at lot 135 Waterloo Street, ‘Globe Yard’, yesterday. Some 50 people occupy the four buildings.
When Kaieteur News visited the location most of the residents, including school aged children, were not at home at the time.
As the demolition crew hammered away at the roof of the first building yesterday an unemployed Donna Allen, 57, stood on the road contemplating her next move. She had resided on the middle floor of the building for more than ten years with five other family members. Her household items were still untouched.
In the second to last building of the yard, 16-year-old Shequita Roberts and three of her four siblings seemed unmindful of the demolition in the front and what may ultimately happen to their home in the coming days.
Their father Jermaine Easton who runs a scrap metal business in the yard also expressed concerns that his business and home which he recently completed repairs on, may be demolished.
Showing this publication some recently completed works to his section of the building, he dubbed the demolition exercise unfair and expressed hopes that some consideration would be given to him and his eight-member family.
“I just did some repairs here to my walls and the roof so I’m hoping that they will not break down my building totally because they also got some other people living on this building too,” he said.
Public Relations Officer, Deborah Lewis, said that after a lull in demolition exercises the City Engineer’s department, following an audit of more than 20 derelict buildings, ruled that five of them must be demolished immediately. Lot 135 Waterloo Street, ‘Globe Yard’ was listed among the five.
Lewis said that the four buildings on the lot were on the City Council’s radar for more than two years.
She said verbal and written notices were sent to Dexter Allen, the property’s power attorney who also informed a relative, Yelona Allen, an occupant, of yesterday’s impending action.
Lewis said, “This demolition move is not a haphazard move. It is more in the best interest of the occupants.”
She referred to an incident several years ago where a derelict building at Middle Street, McDoom, came crashing down and one person died while several others were injured.
She said, “If we had moved to demolish that building (a man’s) life would have been saved. In the Globe Yard case we are not waiting until someone gets injured or killed by one of the falling buildings.”
Lewis said that Council took the Power of Attorney to court in 2005 and the court ruled that the building was unfit for human habitation. At that time, Beverly Johnson, was the engineer. Notices were also issued to the power of attorney in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014 and finally another was sent recently.
Addressing allegations from some occupants who went to the extreme of affecting their own repairs to sections of some of the buildings, Mayor Green said “they were given adequate notice that it is a health hazard and a danger to life and limb.” He also noted that the buildings in their current state tarnish the environment.”
Mayor Green was also emphatic yesterday. “I don’t recall permission to fix the place neither do I believe that permission was given by this municipality for anyone to operate a scrap metal business in a residential environment.”
Mayor Green noted that based on advice from his Public Relations Office, the Scrap metal dealer asked to be given time to remove his materials.
Deborah Lewis said that all four buildings will be removed eventually and that the scrap metal owner was advised to remove all items or they will be removed and discarded.
“This is based on the fact, that those buildings pose a major risk to lives and limb of occupants and nearby buildings. In addition, council also received consistent complaints about the buildings.”
Meanwhile, Lewis said the other buildings identified for immediate demolition include lot 144 Cooper Street Albouystown where a man bakes bread for public consumption. The place is environmentally and structurally unsuited as was Fort Street Kingston, which was demolished two weeks ago.
Already demolished is a house at 219 Lamaha Street, Kitty which housed one occupant. City Hall had been taken to court for that building.
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