Part of 9th Street closed in Mt. Vernon after building deemed ‘dangerous and dilapidated’

Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 3:27 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 11:48 PM CDT
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MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (KFVS) - A portion of 9th Street is closed after a building was deemed “dangerous and dilapidated.”

According to the City of Mount Vernon, the inspection department was made aware of problems with the building in the 200 block of 9th Street earlier on Tuesday, September 21.

“Oh, I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe how much the floor had shifted and how much the building is moving,” said Mayor John Lewis.

City Engineer, Brad Ruble, was called to the building owned by the Antioch International Assembly Church across the street.

He said at least 90% of the first floor has shifted from its original position.

The safest decision was to close the building and the block, in fear the building could collapse at any time.

“We feel it could happen literally any second or it could stand for another 6 months or a year but I think it’s probably going to continue to move,” said Ruble.

Damages are so bad the roof has fallen in the 2nd floor and the basement is nearly impossible to see.

“When I saw it, I felt the need to contact the insurance company and contact the city to get them involved. Because my concern was the safety of the community,” said Pastor Timothy Brinson, Pastor of Antioch International Assembly Church.

He said they used the building daily for youth ministry, community outreach, and even dinners.

Although this could be a loss to his church, his main concern is the safety of the city and its members.

“If it works out where it can be salvaged if not, we want to make sure it’s safe,” said Brinson.

The city is currently removing all vehicles from the area and notifying businesses.

They said barricades will be placed at 9th and Broadway.

Orange snow fencing will be added along the east sidewalk of 9th St.

No vehicle traffic will be allowed through the affected area until further notice.

According to the city, Fall Fest will go on as planned this weekend, but with some changes in the layout of the vendors and foot traffic to avoid the area.

The festival committee met at 3 p.m. to discuss further details.

“We are moving the vendors that are normally in that block to Jordan Street between Joe’s Pizza and 7th Street,” said Festival Director Angela Schrum in a news release. “We have met with City and Emergency Management Officials regarding the building, which is located in the middle of the block in which vendors would typically be located. Through that collaboration, we worked out a plan to relocate the Vendor Marketplace and also the Downtown Mt. Vernon Development Corporation Cruise-In on Friday evening.”

Organizers say the blocks of 9th Street where the cruise-in was to be held are not affected by the collapsing building, but the blocked off area would separate the event from the rest of the festival.

“For the safety of everyone volunteering and attending the festival, we decided to move the Cruise-In to Jordan Street between 10th Street and 12th Street,” said Brian Harland, DMDC director. “Moving the Cruise-in location keeps the entire event easily accessible without going through the affected block.”

Mt. Vernon Fall Fest begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, September 24 and continues through Saturday.

A parade will take place at 1 p.m. along Main Street and 10th Street.

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