Harrisburg demolishes abandoned buildings - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Harrisburg demolishes abandoned buildings

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HARRISBURG -- Some neighbors in Harrisburg say they've grown tired of seeing abandoned, rotten buildings around town. 

The city council voted on Thursday to move forward with a plan to demolish an empty home that burned down off West Elm street. They also unanimously approved to authorize the clerk to endorse an insurance check for the demolition of a house off West McHaney Street.

These efforts brought a sense of relief to Harrisburg residents like Leonard Stadler, who enjoys riding his tricycle in his neighborhood. 

But when he rides past an abandoned burned down home, one thought comes to mind. 

"I don't call that empty, I call that a glorified eyesore," Stadler said. "Do you think anybody is going to live in that thing? You got rats, you got mice, you got cockroaches, and termites."

Problems that Harrisburg resident Lena Free knows all too well. Free told News 3 an old house next door, caused big problems, before the city demolished it.

"For a long time we had a lot of mice and bugs and everything around because of that," Free said. "I wish it never burned down but it's probably good to tear it down so it doesn't cause any more issues."

Harrisburg Mayor John McPeek said cleaning up the city will make it more safe.

"It's important to me," McPeek said. "I'm from Harrisburg and I want to see Harrisburg look good and our town to do well. I just want people to be proud of Harrisburg.”

Stadler called the efforts a good start, but said there needs to be a lot more demolitions throughout the city.

City leaders told News 3 they will start the demolition process with the house off West Elm street and another house off West McHaney in the next few weeks.

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