Grants enable city of Cairo to demo old houses

Published: Aug. 21, 2012 at 7:14 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2012 at 11:25 PM CDT
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(Source: David Duty)
(Source: David Duty)
(Source: David Duty)
(Source: David Duty)

CAIRO, IL (KFVS) - You could see a big difference in Cairo over the next few months.

Three state grants are paying for the demolition of more than 50 old, empty and run-down homes by the end of October.

The city owns these homes. They got some of the houses when the owners moved out because they couldn't pay property taxes.

Others simply donated the homes to the city.

City leaders say this is the first step to attracting new business growth to town.

"If you have a business that's looking for a home or property to develop, it's awful hard to sell them on Cairo when you drive around a little bit and see what we have. So first step is to clean up our mess, make ourself a little more presentable," said Glenn Klett with Cairo Public Utilities.

"Everybody talks in terms of jobs," said Cairo Mayor Tyrone Coleman. "Well, you have to make your community conducive to business people wanting to come here and set up business."

But demolition can sometimes be dangerous.

Monday evening, contractors demolishing a home hit a bee hive with their excavator, sending bees everywhere.

Workers had to abandon that demolition and all the "buzz" has forced the temporary closure of a portion of Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue.

Bees even stung some people who live nearby.

"My daughter, we had to send her off because she had like 16 bees, they were stuck in her hair," said Marcus Hines of Cairo. "They came from the beehive. As soon as they knocked it down they came out of nowhere and just swarmed over there. They stung about six to seven people."

The contractor is in the process of contacting a beekeeper who can properly remove the bees they found.

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