Kinston Woman Crusades To Clean Up Properties & Crime

A woman who lives in a historic district in the Kinston is fed up with abandoned, boarded up, homes in her neighborhood, and says they're contributing to crime in the area.

Carol Tokarski lives in Kinston's historic Mitchelltown neighborhood. She says there are at least ten abandoned homes just within a block of her house, and says the homes encourage crime in the area.

Tokarski says she complained about the homes and gang activity to city council in May, and in June a rash of murders began in the city.

Thomas Hinton and deputy Warren "Sneak" Lewis were killed in the Mitchelltown neighborhood, followed by two others in other parts of town.

Kinston's interim city manager says code enforcement officers can board up abandoned properties, but can't tear them down until they're declared structurally unsafe and condemned. He says another ordinance requires homeowners to fix up deteriorated homes, but says the city can't enforce it because many of the homeowners are unable to pay for the repairs.

Tokarski wants Kinston to pass an ordinance like she says Raleigh has, where the city can seize deteriorated properties and sell them to people willing to renovate them at a low cost.

Interim city manager bill Ellis says the city will consider it, but says it's not as easy as it sounds because there's often back-taxes and other legal matters involved in acquiring properties.

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  • by Larry Location: Kinston on Nov 2, 2011 at 01:59 PM
    Seems you've been pleading this case for years with no luck. I think it's pretty obvious that your cry for city hall's ear has fallen on a deaf one. I was born & raised here and have seen Kinston ignore and bulldoze it's history. Nothing makes me think it'll change now. I'm 62 BTW and been here a while.
  • by Resident Location: Kinston on Nov 2, 2011 at 01:41 PM
    Those home could be beautiful if they were fixed up. If they aren't worth fixing up then they should be torn down but something needs to be done about them. Having them open does allow for crime to take place a lot easier there. But the crime can also be blamed on the police and sheriffs department. I know people who work for the sheriff department but work in the jail and just from what I hear from some of them about work and things that happen it does not surprise me that there is so much crime here. Kinston PD needs better officers who are not scared of being out on the road and inmates should not be babied down in the jail. I am so fed up with hearing about the rising crime but you can't get anyone to do anything about it.
  • by Citizen Location: Kinston on Nov 2, 2011 at 08:36 AM
    Before anything can be done about the crime in the community, the KPD and LCSO must be cleaned up. Have alot of officers that actually engage in illegal activity.
  • by Anonymous on Nov 1, 2011 at 08:45 PM
    The only problem Mitchell Town has is the absent landlord. Every bumpkin that had a line of credit bought houses thinking they were Carlton Sheets. Sub. housing is what the problem is...casualty of the flood? Pay attention!
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane on Nov 1, 2011 at 06:20 PM
    Carol, until the city does something about crime city wide, not much hope can be held for any historic property.
  • by Resident Location: Lenoir County on Nov 1, 2011 at 06:16 PM
    Instead of taking the property, give the owners the option to make the repairs outside of the MANDATES of the governing Historical district. Or give them the option to bulldoze those eyesores and build some duplexes....we need a 'little Mexico" in Kinston and I bet 1,000 people would move in.

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