Old church creates a Heartland Eyesore

Old church creates a Heartland Eyesore
By: Arnold Wyrick
Anna, IL - For many folks living along the 400 block of Dewey Street in Anna, Illinois the old church building had become a part of their neighborhood.  But in recent years the building has decayed and crumbled.  And the weeds have grown as high as what's left of the roof.
And some residents feel that the place is a perfect breeding ground for varmints.
"We've dealt with mice and rats this Winter.  I couldn't let the kids play outside because it was full of cats and stuff, and everything climbing all over the place," says Charlene Hanney of Anna.
Many of the people living near the old church would like to see it removed.  And they're ready to petition city hall to do so.
Hanney says she's seen a lot more activity going on in the building other then four legged creatures running around.
"There's grown men defecating in there.  I work until 12:30 at night.  I come home and I see the drunks and homeless people coming out of there," Hanney said.
Mayor Steve Hartline says he's aware of the situation on Dewey Street, but that the council must make the decision about what to do with the old church.
"We're going through the process, it's a long drawn out one.  We can't just go in there and tear it down.  We have other places in town that are just as bad.  And we have to prioritize which ones need to be done first.  But we will be talking about that during our upcoming city council meeting," Mayor Hartline said.
Some parents living next door to the falling down building worry about their children's safety as they play in their own yard.
"We know it's a problem.  So we just have to let the legal system work.  And hopefully we can get the problem solved as quick as possible," says Fire Chief Jim Cross.