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      Harlingen City Attorney attempts to demolish abandoned homes

      Roxanne Cotroneo tells a woman living on Johnson Street in Harlingen that she knows it's bad and she's going to take it down. Cotroneo is on a mission to make people in this city happy about where they live and she has the power to do so because she's the new Harlingen City Attorney and is bringing some of what she was awarded for in Dallas, to this community.

      Starting with the demolition of dilapidated homes clogging up neighborhoods in what is sectioned off as census tract 110 including streets surrounding F and Buchanan.

      "In the city of Harlingen, there's one particular neighborhood that has been plagued by crime and dilapidated substandard structures." Ramona Sanchez lives in the middle of it.

      After getting a surprise visit from the city attorney and learning the home across the street from her will finally be torn down, she says she feels better after being afraid of whom or what the structure was attracting. Cotroneo and the city commissioner who presides over this area have pinpointed problems plaguing these residents, and she has spearheaded a program which legally requires owners of unmaintained property to repair it or tear it down. A board reviews each case and has been effective in getting 20 houses demolished in just a few months, but not everyone has been so cooperative.

      "One particular property that stands behind me has not complied and the city will begin demolitions in the next two weeks." The city is now ready to jump into another census tract and start working on tearing down dilapidated structures there to increase the quality of life for surrounding residents like Ramona who is glad the city stepped in to clean up her neighborhood.