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EYSORE: 5/14/13 Milligan Grocery Store

Updated: Sunday, August 4 2013, 10:08 AM CDT
OKALOOSA COUNTY   --  Neighbors say its condition is potentially dangerous and unacceptable.
People who live near the unoccupied Milligan Grocery Store in Okaloosa County say it's been falling  apart for nearly two decades.

And they call the property at Highway 90 and State Road 4 an Eyesore.
Enough is enough.
Neighbors say this dilapidated building has been allowed to fester in terrible condition for too long.   

Dakota Josey, Lives Near Eyesore: "If anybody wants to go in there they could get hurt."

Dakota Josey and other parents in the area worry the building could pose a threat to their children.

Dakota Josey, Lives Near Eyesore: "If a kid went in there, there could be broken glass, they could get a bad cut.. Trip over somethin', bust their head, break somethin'.

Megan Eubanks, Lives Near Eyesore: "Rafters could be falling down, nails sticking out everywhere."

Bobby Howard, who's 50, has lived in Milligan all his life.
He remembers when the business was open.

Bobby Howard, Lives Near Eyesore: "It was a nice store back in the day. It was kind of a little grocery store bait store, combination."

 The more than 60 year-old property is owned by Edward Benoit.
After I tried to reach him, his wife called me and said they've wanted to demolish it for years.
But she said environmental and transportation issues with the state have kept them from doing so.

State authorities, meanwhile, told me a very different story.
The Florida Department of Transportation says it's not doing anything to hold up demolition.
And the Department of Environmental Protection says although a plan to remove the old gas pump and underground gas tanks has been delayed, they're not stopping the Benoits from moving forward with demolishing the building.

Joy Wender, Lives Near Eyesore: "It's pulled the property values down a lot."
Joy Wender wants the property torn down immediately.
"I've seen rats and animals go in and out of there. I've observed vagrants going in and out of the building and staying there."
County authorities say no complaints have been filed with code enforcement.
*But* after we contacted them, they told us they were generating a case and that ultimately the owner will have to either repair or demolish the property.
They say the issue  could be resolved within about three months.
For neighbors, the sooner the building is torn down or fixed, the better.

If you know about an Eyesore in your neighborhood tell us about it..   
Just head over to weartv.com and click on Eyesores.

EYSORE: 5/14/13 Milligan Grocery Store

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Eyesores Submission Form

They are an embarrassment to our communities. Eyesores that litter our neighborhood streets. From dilapidated buildings to embarrassing pieces of property, we've all seen them. WEAR wants you to tell us about these Gulf Coast Eyesores in your community so we can help you get them cleaned up, torn down, or refurbished.
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