Park planned for Covington Mills area
Neighbors called it the “Kudzu House.” Abandoned and with a massive hole in the roof, the house at 6110 Sorrell Street in the Covington Mills neighborhood north of U.S. 278 was overgrown, run down and dangerous.
Neighbors just wanted it gone. It is. The house was torn down months ago, with the city footing the $22,000 bill for its demolition.
Monday night, the Covington City Council voted unanimously to bid on the lot at the upcoming county tax sale, with the idea of building a neighborhood park. Council members approved spending up to $25,000 on the lot.
“We’re looking to a put a park there, playground equipment, that kind of thing,” said councilman Chris Smith.
Yes, the city telegraphed its financial punch by setting its maximum bid at $25,000. Smith says that’s OK. If someone wants to buy it for, say, $26,000, the city still benefits.
When the house was demolished, the city put a $22,000 lien on the property. That means whoever buys it — even if it’s the city — the county, which collects property taxes, will send $22,000 to the city. In short, the best-case scenario is the city gets .44 acres of park land in a neighborhood that needs a park for $3,000 or so. Worst case, the city gets its $22,000 back.
“If somebody wants to buy it for $26,000, that’s fine. We’ll get our (money) back,” Smith said.
“It needs to be done. It’s just grown up in grass now,” Smith said. “It’s an eyesore for the community, and they deserve something like a nice little park.”
Councilman Keith Dalton called the city’s move a “no-brainer.”
“You’ve got a lot of young people (in Covington Mills), and to get to anywhere else they have to take a bicycle across U.S. 278,” he said. Building park there can hopefully keep some kids safely near home.
“It’s an area that can use” a park, Dalton said.
Kudzu still grows on the empty lot in Covington Mills where the “Kudzu House” once stood. City officials hope to buy the lot and build a neighborhood park.