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Addition by subtraction

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LAKE PROVIDENCE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Mayor Robert Amacker is trying to change his town's reputation as one of the poorest cities in the country. He is using addition by subtraction. Our Nolan Crane shows us why demolition teams will be coming to his town.

Mayor Robert Amacker met with a city alderman to discuss some of the city's eye sores. He has made his list, checked it twice and 28 structures are going to be removed.

"I went around the town and made a list of all of the houses that I thought needed to come down and sent letters out to the people who own the houses trying to get their permission to let us tear them down," said Amacker.

These homes all have things in common: missing windows, years of neglect, and they are run-down. The mayor says there are other characteristics that you can't see.

"The houses that we are targeting are vacant. They have been vacated and they are basically being used for drugs, people go in and do drugs in them," said Amacker.

Starting next month construction for a Fred's Drug Store will take place. The mayor and alderman hope other companies will like what they see once these building are no longer here.

"You want to improve the beauty of your town. You want to attract different organizations, different businesses to take a look at your town," said Nate Madere.

"We're trying to clean up. I think that is one of the first steps we have to do, clean the town up before you're ever going to successful in getting people in here on a bigger scale then just one store," said Amacker.

Within the next two weeks demolition crews made up of volunteers and using money received from a grant will get to work. The property owners will also have to get involved. Even with the structures gone, they will be responsible for keeping the property clean; if they don't the city will bill them.

Robert Amacker has been the mayor for almost three years. So far he is responsible for getting more than 70 buildings torn down and thrown away.

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