West Frankfort looks to tear down eyesores - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

West Frankfort looks to tear down eyesores

WEST FRANKFORT, IL (KFVS) -

Leaders in West Frankfort prepare to move forward on getting rid of eyesores in the community. City leaders say they only need one more vote before demolition can begin on the first property.

"The neighborhood is an eyesore," Candy Chapman said.

The worst one for Chapman and her husband is a burnt shell of a house on Doris Street. Chapman says it gets worse when neighbors throw trash on the property.

"When they move out of the house they throw their chairs, mattresses, tires, you name it's in the yard," Chapman said.

But Mayor Tom Jordan told Chapman it won't be long before her view next door changes as the city hopes to start demolition as early as the end of the week.

"I'm happy," Chapman said.  

West Frankfort Police and Fire Commissioner Gary Harkins was a codes officer for nearly five years. He says during that time he had the home on his list to demolish.

"This is still in my heart," Harkins said.  "I want to see the town get rid of these derelict properties we have so many of them and this is the one next on the hit list."

The largest eyesore in West Frankfort is the old Union hospital. Jordan says while they are making process it's taking longer than expected to get knocked down.

"The city does not own this building," Jordan said. "This is owned by a private cooperation and we are trying to help and facilitate the demolition of the building by providing them with water and electricity at the site and restoring the property after it's demolish."

Jordan says the company has removed asbestos from this wing and last word was demolish would start after Labor Day.

"We're going to keep prodding them along and encourage them as much as we can to get this done," Jordan said.  

It's a change to the city landscape neighbor David Barefield says he's like to see happen much sooner than later.

"It's been here for so long, something needs to be done," Barefield said.  

Jordan says the city has set aside more than $100,000 to get rid of run down property. The council is expected to vote on the first project on Doris Street Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Jordan tells Heartland News property owned by Donald Blair at the corner of Jefferson and Clark Streets is also on his list. The mayor says they are working aggressively to solve the problem, even if it means shutting him down.     

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