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City misuses federal dollars to demolish Springfield homes

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Updated: 10/23/2013 9:50 am
JACKSONVILLE Fla.-- As the City tore down walls of historic Springfield homes, neighbors tore through the City Code Compliance Division's every move. They believe they found one major mistake. The demolitions were being funded with federal dollars.

"It's very frustrating because this money could have been used to mothball the houses to remove the Blight to make renovations there are many things that could have been done," said Gloria Devall, a neighbor and Springfield preservationist.

Action News obtained a letter from the City's Code Compliance Office to Devall. In the letter the City admits two homes
were demolished with "non-eligible" funds.

"They're going to be punished," said Devall. She says there are more than 50 homes she believes were taken down with the same "misused" money.

"Money is tight and that money could have really made a difference," she said.

Action News reached out to Terrance Ashanta Barker, the City's Director of Neighborhoods to find out why they misused the federal money. He admitted it was a mistake; one neighbor like Devall say they can never recover from.

"Once it's demolished, you can't go back," she said.

The City says they have already paid back the $30,000 for the two demolitions.
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