House two blocks away torn down, too, as county continues demolition

Two more abandoned structures contributing to Taft's blight are gone.

A two-story apartment building at 306 Madison Street was turned into kindling Monday and a burned-out house two blocks away at 114 Madison is now just a cement foundation.

The Madison Street buildings aren't the first to go, and they won't be the last.
Supervisor David Couch's office and the Kern County Code Enforcement Office have several more buildings in their sights.

Several old houses in South Taft have been removed, and the apartment is the biggest in a series of demolitions .

"This is our biggest demolition of dangerous and unsafe building to date," said Mark Salvaggio, an aide to Couch.

One building still standing has become a symbol of the problems in the community.

It's the two-story apartment at 424 Adams Street plagued by severe settlement problems that has left it tilting so bad it has been nicknamed "The Sinking Ship."

That building has been declared unsafe for occupancy and its residents have moved out.

It has been a priority for Couch and is still scheduled for abatement.

Salvaggio sent this update out several days ago:

"As many of you know, 424 Adams, a dangerous and unsafe apartment complex, now without tenants, is on Supervisor David Couch's high priority list of blighted buildings that pose public health and safety problems. It is our top candidate for demolition. The Board of Supervisors voted to demolish it on March 19.

"We are sorry for the delay. We have a new Code Compliance Officer, Dee Benson, who had to do some new or re-noticing requirements. We are now waiting to hear from back from some contractors who will be willing to do the job for less than $10,000. If not, we will have to go to our General Services Department move forward."