Waldo leaders implement ordinance for boarding of closed buildings

WALDO, Fla., (WCJB) ---- One city in Alachua County has suffered the loss of many downtown businesses.

Business after business has closed in the town of Waldo, leaving the community with many buildings boarded up and deteriorating. Tonight waldo leaders decided to establish a procedure for temporary boarding and sealing of buildings.

"It's heartbreaking you know the whole town is drying up."

Bryan Bay has lived in the city of Waldo his entire life and says it's sad that the city isn't the way it used to be.

"This place used to be beautiful is used to look like Mayberry and now you drive around and some of the houses are abandoned and nobody takes care of them," stated Bay.

There's just one business in downtown waldo that is still operating, while the rest has been deserted for years.

"There used to be a grocery store there, the hardware store used to actually have hardware in it, and there was a glass shop. There's been all kind of businesses come in and out of there, there was an antique shop," stated Bay.

A bright spot has been the resurgence of the old Waldo school, now known as Waldo City Square. It houses city offices and a growing number of businesses like AHA Pure Foods.

Now Waldo officials are adding an ordinance that would require that a permit be obtained prior to buildings being boarded up.

This ordinance has been put in place after many buildings have been boarded up and left in an unsightly condition for years.

Bay says he hopes that Waldo is able to be revitalized back to what it used to be.

"It'd be nice to have something for the kids, there's not much for the kids to do around here, and the seniors," stated Bay.

The ordinance will be reviewed again on June 11th to see if any other changes should be made