PAXTON, Ill. (WCIA) – Neglected or abandoned homes – they’re an eyesore for neighbors, and a problem several central Illinois cities are trying to address.
Paxton is the latest city to take action. Mayor Bill Ingold said some properties just need some work, but others will need to be demolished.
The city joined the Central Illinois Land Bank, which will help with acquiring, repairing, or demolishing homes. They also adopted the International Property Maintenance Code, and will be hiring an enforcement officer. That person will drive around Paxton and take notes on houses that need new roofs, siding, or ones that just need to be torn down. Then, he’ll call the owners and help solve the problem.
Mayor Ingold said he understands some people have been waiting a long time for these houses to get cleaned up, and he wants them to know the city is getting the job done.
“We’re going to encourage people – don’t call up your alderman, don’t call the mayor, don’t call the chief of police. You need to talk to this code enforcement officer because he’s going to keep a log of who he talks to, when he talks to them, and keep things moving,” he said.
One neighbor said she’s lived across from a neglected home for years, and she’s elated to hear it’ll be taken care of.
“I don’t see how people can live like that. What kind of person would live like that?” Jackie Lynch said.
Mayor Ingold said around 42 properties need attention – some residential and some commercial. He’s hoping to get started as soon as August 1.