MOUNT VERNON, IL (KFVS) - Mount Vernon, Illinois will soon demolish 13 abandoned buildings in hopes of improving public safety, appearance and prospective development.
Assistant to the City Manager Nathan McKenna said some of the houses have been abandoned for more than five years, and a number of them have been connected with drug-related criminal activity.
Since 2008, Mt. Vernon has spent roughly $2.2 million to demolish 85 structures within city limits.
The ongoing project is paid for by the Mt. Vernon Engineering Department, with some money coming out of the General Corporate fund.
Frank Shrum and his family lives across from one of the unlucky 13 houses, and says he'll feel much more secure once demolition is complete.
"With the abandoned homes, anybody could be inside," Shrum explained as he held a toddler in his arms, "you see I've got my daughter with me now, it's really a concern."
McKenna said one of the city's goals of the project also is to promote development of local neighborhoods.
Shrum said he's hopeful the thought sees fruition.
"These condemned homes don't need to be here… and they're just taking up space." Shrum said as he peered through overgrown weeds engulfing 603 Harrison, which is across the street from his home. "Like this house right here, if they tear it down, then they could build a new house, or a business."
McKenna said bids for demolition are estimated to open on July 7, and the process is currently waiting on surveyors to declare the house safe for demolition.
If Surveyors conclude asbestos is not an issue, demolition will be underway by the end of July.
Below is a list of 12 out of the 13 condemned homes from the City Manager's office. The thirteenth was recently involved in a fire, and has not yet been cleared for destruction.
- 421 Forest
- 1010 Perkins
- 1129 Oakland
- 709 S. 11th Street
- 603 Harrison
- 1007 Pace
- 2221 Cherry
- 1215 S. 24th Street
- 814 S 26th Street
- 704 S. 21st Street
- 1117 Welkins
- 923 S. 12th Street