Colp residents reach out to county leaders to clean up eyesores - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Colp residents reach out to county leaders to clean up eyesores

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WILLIAMSON COUNTY -- Some Colp residents are sick of seeing abandoned and trashed property.

Many have said since there's no zoning, out-of-towners use the properties for dumping. They're now asking county commissioners to help.

Jim Gentile, William Perkins and Eddie Williams, Jr. call Colp the small town with a rich history.

"This is where I'm from, where I was raised, and I love 62921," said Williams.

The men are sick of seeing unkempt, abandoned properties all over town.

"I can speak for every citizen in Williamson County. Don't nobody want that right next to them," said Williams.

Perkins said the property on the corner of Martin Luther King Street and Andrew Springs Road has been a problem for some time now. The site has been a place for dumping unwanted materials and debris, and the longer it sits there the angrier Williams gets.

"Oh, yes, it makes me angry because that means the person, he has no respect for the rest of the community," said Williams. "And if you don't have no respect for the community, you need to leave that community."

It's located in No. 9, an unincorporated area surrounding Colp, so the it falls on the county to take action.

Due to no zoning in Williamson County, Commissioner Brent Gentry is working with State's Attorney Brandon Zanotti to create stronger ordinances.

"Anything that is a hazard to children that are around or can bring in rodents to the property, it's just not acceptable," said Gentry.

Perkins said in 2010, residents of No. 9 and Colp petitioned lot owners to clean up their properties, but their efforts proved unsuccessful.

"We're going to make it stricter for Bi-County Health, because they have to go by our ordinances or make it tougher and that's all we can do right now," said Gentry.

He said this goes for all over the county.

The owner of the property has been cited before, but neither Gentry or Bi-County have been able to contact him.   

"You don't want to take away people's right of how they want to put things up, but this shouldn't be in nobody's neighborhood," said Williams.

Williams and other community members are hoping the places are cleaned up quickly. The village has planned a big Veterans Memorial Ceremony for May 28. That area will be a spot tourists will visit.

Perkins said if the community gets a dumpster or donations to buy one, they will cleanup the mess themselves.

If you're a Williamson County resident looking to remove unsightly debris from your property, the county is hosting a free dump day May 21 at the Highway Department.     

This service is for Williamson County residents only.

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