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Neighborhood's Steady Decline Has Durham Residents Upset

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DURHAM — Some Bull City neighbors are fed up. They say boarded-up and abandoned houses are turning their neighborhood in northeast central Durham into a dumping ground.

Over the last few years, James and Elizabeth Matthews have seen the neighborhood deteriorate around them. They say boarded-up and abandonded houses have become a breeding ground for criminals.

"They sell drugs there, and they have prostitutes come there," James said.

Residents claim their complaints have fallen on deaf ears, so Monday afternoon, some of them showed members of the Public Works committee a videotape of some of the dilapidated houses in their neighborhoods.

"We don't want any more task forces. We don't want any more committees," said one resident at the meeting. "We want strategic planning, and we want it soon."

City Manager Marcia Conner told residents at the meeting that she will have a plan of action for that area in 90 days.