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Troubled neighborhood makes changes
ESCAMBIA COUNTY -- A neighborhood that was troubled by gangs, drugs, and prostitution a few years ago, now says their neighborhood has changed.
In 2011 Escambia County Code Enforcement tore down abandoned townhomes along Frontera Circle in Brownsville, but has that helped the neighborhood?
When the townhomes stood abandoned and falling apart. Neighbors say drug dealers, squatters, and prostitutes occasionally used the buildings.
Making the neighborhood unsafe.
"There was lots of bad stuff going on," said Shelly Shoemaker.
Shelly Shoemaker has seen it all. He's lived in the neighborhood since 1999.
Since the homes were demolished in 2011, he says he's watched his neighborhood become a more peaceful place to live..
"It seems like its been a lot better, it's a lot quieter you really don't have the traffic coming in and out," said Shoemaker.
It cost the county around $7,000 to knock down each of the 12 to 15 homes, but many say the price was worth it..
Tresa Brown says yes, crime doesn't seem as bad, but once the buildings were demolished she noticed other problems.
Rats popping up all over the neighborhood.
"I found a half-eaten rat in my yard. Where the stray cats came up and ate it in my yard," said Tresa Brown.
The property now sits vacant surrounded by other abandoned homes that the county is looking to to demolish.
"They need to hurry up and do something because it's dangerous," said Brown.
Both Tresa and Shelly have ideas as to what they want done to the property.
"I think they should make a nice recreation center for the kids," said Brown.
"The biggest improvement to this neighborhood would be to add speed bumps. It would do good in this neighborhood," said Shoemaker.
However, code enforcement has their own plans to redevelop the area.
They want to build new homes on the property which was once known as a crime ridden area.
If you want to report any possible abandoned homes in your neighborhood you can contact the Escambia County Code Enforcement at (850) 595-1820.