Even as a bulldozer began razing the house at 1627 Robbins early Tuesday morning, Harold Miller was removing items from storage sheds at the back of the property with the help of a city worker.
“I’ve tried and the City has tried all along to help him. Even today we’re helping him move stuff,” Dan Allen, Augusta City Inspector said as he watched the bulldozer tear into the structure.
A few neighbors watched as the building that was at the center of contention for almost 20 years quickly came down. The residents of Robbins St. were not smiling or cheering.
“It’s sad. It’s just sad. We didn’t want this to happen, but sometimes people leave no choices,” said Anita Elliot, long-time neighbor of the Miller property, who has addressed the City Council concerning the neglected condition of the property.
“This is the end to a stressful situation. It is closure and an ending. We all hope for a brand new house to be built there in time,” she added.
Miller walked past the bulldozer and rubble to speak to Gazette Publisher Kent Bush, who was at the scene with a video camera. Miller, obviously upset and confrontational, accused Bush of printing lies concerning the condemnation proceedings surrounding the property. He also complained about the neighbors’ vendetta against him, as well.
“Everything I done was legal,” Miller said as he looked at the pile of rubble.
The debris was expected to be removed and the location completely cleaned up in a matter of hours. The demolition and removal was being done by Butler County Backhoe, Inc.