Galveston tearing down Ike-empty houses
GALVESTON, Texas (AP) - Galveston's residential look is changing
as dozens of Hurricane Ike-wrecked houses are being torn down.
The city is spending $21 million from the Federal Emergency
Management Agency in a buyout program meant to clear the streets of
empty and decaying homes.
Ike hit Galveston on Sept. 13, 2008, leaving behind swamped
property and hundreds of unlivable structures.
The city is using FEMA funds to purchase 68 houses determined to
be substantially damaged.
The Galveston County Daily News on Thursday reported that so far
the city has closed on 42 homes. Construction crews on Monday began
tearing down the first of the structures.
City spokeswoman Alicia Cahill says Galveston hopes to have all
the approved homes demolished by the end of May before hurricane
season, which runs June through November.
Information from: The Galveston County Daily News,
Arrested Texas bond co. owner cited in Monroe case
MONROE, La. (AP) - A Fort Worth man arrested last month owns the
bonding company that cost the New Orleans-based low bidder a
contract to build a new $35 million terminal at Monroe Regional
George Douglas Black Sr. was arrested March 26 on a federal mail
fraud charge. Investigators say he allegedly sold more than $25
million dollars worth of worthless construction bonds around the
country through Infinity Surety Co.
The News-Star reports that's the company that had bonded a bid
by EnviroTech Services LLC of New Orleans.
The city rejected EnviroTech's bid after the city attorney said
that property offered as collateral by Infinity was worth $235,000
rather than the $1.75 million required for the bond.
Federal prosecutors in Texas say Black is not licensed or
registered to sell securities.