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City meets with owner of house accidentally demolished

A contractor hired by the city of Little Rock demolishes the wrong house and now the property owner is looking to the city to help take care of the mess.
As Jessie Vernon and his wife walk up the stairs to city hall, he tries to leave his anger outside.

"I have to just keep peace in me because it will do nothing but destroy me. That's more destruction on me," said Vernon.

And he's is dealing with plenty of destruction. Earlier this month, Youngblood Demolition and Excavating took down a vacant house on Vernon's property without waiting on the city code enforcer to confirm the address. Turns out, Youngblood demolished the wrong house.

"Due to his negligence, it's caused me a lot of stress that i have to deal with," said Vernon.

Friday, Vernon met with city leaders behind closed doors to develop a strategy to help both the city and Vernon get this accidental mess off the property.

"I'm just hoping that the city will put pressure on him and make him do what he's supposed to be doing," said Vernon.

After the meeting, Assistant City Manager Bryan Day explained why this situation is a touchy one, even though the city followed all the proper procedures.

"Our goal is to have safe and vibrant neighborhoods and his house is demolished," said Day. "It's still sitting on the site. The contractor hasn't cleaned up."

That's because neither Youngblood nor Vernon can reach a deal they're both happy with.

On the phone today, Grant Youngblood said, "I offered Mr. Vernon more than a fair deal including replacing the house and cleaning up the property. If he wants any money, he'll have to take me to court."

As for the house originally slated for demolition, it's still standing and the city is looking to hire a new contractor for the job.

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