It's demolition day at an Ansonia public housing complex plagued by violence.
Crews began tearing down the first of two buildings at the Riverside Apartments on Olson Drive on Tuesday. The demolition of that building is expected to take about a week, according to Ansonia Mayor Jim Della Volpe. After that, another building in the complex is scheduled to be torn down this year. Next year, four buildings will come down and the remaining five buildings will fall within five years, according to Della Volpe.
"What we have been doing is trying to reform the area," he said.
Residents are being offered Section Eight housing elsewhere. Resident Merari Pratts says she'll be moving out of state soon, saying the ongoing crime in the complex, including two murders over the summer, is just too much. "I can't afford to let my kids come out and play knowing that a bullet could come out of nowhere," said Pratts. "What's going to happen next? So I'm happy it's going down."
Once all of the demolition has taken place, the city plans to build townhouses in the area, said Della Volpe. A four-story housing building is also a possibility, he said.