Cape Girardeau city officials looking to demolish abandoned buildings

Cape Girardeau city officials are looking to demolish abandoned buildings in town.
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 10:19 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2022 at 10:25 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - City leaders say occupied abandoned homes are a fire hazard and they want to do something to put an end to them.

Residents said they are ready to see a change.

“It’s just nasty, I don’t understand it,” Jack Jackson, one resident said.

That’s how Jack Jackson described a blue house next door to him.

He called it abandoned; however, he said it’s far from vacant.

“A tremendous amount of traffic in and out just nonstop, just different people,” he said.

Cape Girardeau city officials said they believe the different people they are seeing are homeless.

According to city leaders, there are more abandoned houses like these in the city.

They are looking to use $125,000 from the American Rescue Plan to demolish structures they call unsafe.

“We’ve been battling this for quite some time with some vacant home fires in our community,” Randy Morris, Cape Girardeau fire chief, said.

Morris said his firefighters have responded to multiple vacant house fires.

“If it’s not properly maintained, a roof or a floor or something like that, could collapse as firefighters are working to do firefighter operations,” he explained.

Those who live close to these abandoned homes, like April Brown Hodges, said they are ready to see a change, and soon.

“Right now, to clear out all the vagrants from the houses, because it’s just not safe,” Hodges said.

“We have so many people that have owned our homes for a long amount of time...This has made us really just frustrated,” Hodges continued.

City Manager Dr. Kenneth Haskin said money will be spent once the council approves. It can take at least a year to get the buildings condemned.

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