Empty houses targeted by vandals

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 6, 2008

FRANKLIN—Houses under construction on Langston Court have been the targets of vandals for the past couple of months, and police are looking for help finding those responsible for the damage.

Vandals have broken five windows on two of the homes, which are located in the Oldtown/Cobbtown Neighborhood Comprehensive Improvement Project, according to Lt. T.W. Whitt, a spokesman for the Franklin Police Department.

Both houses have been hit three times, and damage has topped $1,000, Whitt said Tuesday.

&uot;This obviously is a senseless act of destruction that is costly to the builder, as well as having a negative impact on the neighborhood,&uot; he added.

The homes are part of a $4.75 million community revitalization project that was designed to rebuild and improve the area after 158 city residents, many low- to moderate-income, were displaced by the 1999 flood.

The city purchased 11 blighted properties on old Langston Street (renamed Langston Court), and then demolished the existing buildings, subdivided the properties and put in new water and sewer, curb and gutter, sidewalks, landscaping and a street.

Twenty-seven lots were created for a mixed-income community, and 25 substandard homes in the surrounding community on Bruce and Wilson streets were rehabilitated.

&uot;Revitalization of the Oldtown/Cobbtown area offered the best opportunity to eradicate neighborhood blight, preserve most of the existing housing and provide for new affordable infill units for homeownership,&uot; Franklin Community Development Director Donald Goodwin said in December.

In fact, the city received a governor’s award in December, calling the project the &uot;Best Housing Preservation/Revitalization Effort&uot; in the state.

Whitt asked on Tuesday that anyone with information about the vandals call Franklin Crime Solvers at 562-8599. Anonymity is guaranteed, and information that leads to an arrest could earn the caller $1,000.