MARION, Va. (WJHL) – The Town of Marion is working to remove abandoned properties that officials say have become eyesores.

A release from the town states “Project BAUD” (Blighted, Abandoned, Underutilized, and Derelict) will address the properties that require removal.

“For several years, neighbors have complained about burned-out houses, properties abandoned and left to fill with overgrowth and rodents,” the release states.

According to the release, the town has acquired 48 properties by way of donations, tax sales and purchases. Of those 48, crews have already removed 13 and plan to remove another 18 over the next two months.

The dilapidated homes were acquired through a partnership between the Marion Economic Development Authority and the town government.

By removing the old homes, the town aims to make way for new home developments in neighborhoods.

“Our goal is to have thirty to thirty-five properties redeveloped by the end of the year,” Town Manager Bill Rush said in the release. “The quicker we work, the faster we can get these properties back in the hands of people who want to build their homes on the lots – and that’s our ultimate goal. We want to remove substandard housing where people are forced to live in conditions that nobody should have to and to repurpose vacant properties that are currently wasted space into new safe, warm, attractive homes where any of us would be proud to live.”

The project also has the support of Marion Mayor David Helms.

“The more nice places our folks can live means more folks living in Marion,” Helms stated in the release. “And more people means more opportunities for business, for recreation, for all the things that lead to quality of life and an even better Marion for our future.”