Numerous blighted properties that have for years drawn the ire of both Abbeville officials and residents are being cleaned up.

The city of Abbeville is in the process of removing blighted properties through the Louisiana Community Development Block Grant (LCDBG) Clearance Program. That program provided the city with $250,000.

Phase I of the project included properties located at 309 Ninth St., 608 E. Oak St., 1507 Franks Alley, 207 S. Gertrude St., 516 Dutel St. and 1602 Mathes St. Richard Minvielle of Minvielle & Associates, who is working with the city on this project, said that phase wrapped up in June.

“The six houses in Phase I have all been demolished,” Minvielle said during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

“They were actually demolished 10 days ago. It took the contractor less than two weeks from when they started.”

Stallion Oilfield Services handled the first phase.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the City Council awarded contracts for Phase II and Phase III of the project. The contract for Phase II went to Hidco in Abbeville. The second phase includes properties at 309 Ninth St. and 207 S. Gertrude St. Vermilion Shell & Limestone Co. received the third phase. That will include 1602 Mathes St., 1608 MLK Dr., 718 South Bailey St., 1014 South Lamar St., 809 North Lamar St., 506 Thomas St. and 303 Maude Ave.

“I want to say how exceptionally well this program is going so far,” Councilman Brady Broussard Jr. said. “There are compliments coming from neighborhoods that have been affected by blight.

“We cannot understate the value of this program and the grant that is funding it.”

Mayor Mark Piazza said it is also a positive that all three bidders are local companies.

“We were able to spread business around to three companies that have a very good reputations,” Piazza said.

Minvielle said he expects demolition work on Phase II to begin soon. Phase III will be a little more time consuming.

“They will have to go and remove all of the asbestos first,” Minville said. “They will have to do that before those houses come down.”

Originally published in the Abbeville Meridional on July 9, 2021