ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- When Rockingham County Code Enforcement Officer Ben Curry sees a brand new empty lot, he knows it's a job well done.
"It was a mobile home left on a family member's property. It just fell apart as it was abandoned by the mobile home owner," Curry said.
That's when the county stepped in to help. A $26,500 state grant allows Rockingham County to hire a contractor to remove unlivable single-wide homes.
"We have completed 13 and have one in line to be demolished as soon as the last paperwork is signed," Curry said.
The county is looking toward the future. It wants to get rid of another 16 unwanted mobile homes. But the current two-year grant program is coming to an end. So the county will reapply, hoping they will get another grant so they can remove potentially dangerous abandoned homes.
"If there's a home close by with children, they will come out and play. There could be stuff they are not familiar with -- and check it out -- and it could be dangerous," Curry said.
Plus the unwanted home could invite wild animals or contain dangerous chemicals like lead and mercury. So signing up again for the state grant will make it easier to get rid of an unwanted mobile home and clean up Rockingham County.
"It works out for the landowner and citizens of the county," Curry said. "We are trying to make our county cleaner for our residents as well as visitors coming in."