YAKIMA, Wash. -- Efforts to clean up a troubled neighborhood in Yakima are running into more problems. KIMA has shown you the code violations along South 20th Street.
Code enforcement officers want to tear down five buildings. KIMA learned a health hazard now gets in the way.
"It's a pretty bad eyesore,” said neighbor Jeremy Rixie.
"A lot of people are going inside of the buildings. We're having police activity here,” City Codes Manager Joe Caruso told KIMA.
This troubled spot along South 20th Street has made life difficult for Yanet Bustamante and her family. It's right behind her apartment. She feared for her children's safety one night she heard gunshots coming from the property.
"Everybody down and we were like alright, it was scary,” said Bustamante.
Yakima's Code Enforcement Department has had the property on the radar for a while.
The city wants to demolish the five vacant buildings. That's now a problem after the Clean Air Authority found asbestos in one of them.
"That's kind of scary because you don't know if it's cancerous. I mean that's a big deal,” said Bustamante.
It’s a big deal that keeps the city from tearing it down.
"I'm worried about my safety, the safety of my family and I'm worried it could spread,” Rixie told KIMA.
"Could it potentially harm neighbors?” asked a KIMA reporter.
"No, it's all secured. It's in roofing and it's in flooring built in the linoleum. So if it's kept in place, which it is, just laid out on the floor, it should be fine,” responded Caruso.
Yakima still plans to go forward, but it has to thoroughly test the property to see how much asbestos is there.
The price tag for the testing and cleanup is about 20-thousand dollars. But, Yakima only has 30-grand set aside to take care of all dangerous buildings this year. That could keep other cleanup projects from getting done unless the city finds the money from someplace else in the budget.
Yakima plans to start the asbestos testing on the property in a couple of weeks.