Lawmaker pushes for more local control on blighted property

National News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — City governments currently need to go to court to take over abandoned properties, but they are one signature from the governor away from being able to take these properties into their own hands much quicker.

“It reduces abandoned and neglected neglected homes by helping cities intervene earlier to the court system to save these properties, instead of let him just let them sit there vacant,” Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) said.

Jordan Creek is a property manager in Rantoul. His company, Patriot Square LLC, bought a chunk of untended land in the city, and has spent months cleaning it up.

“We’ve been going six months, almost seven months now,” Creek said. “Really doing a lot of TLC, removing a lot of landscape that’s been growing up for years used to not be able to see anything back through here. Ten foot tall weeds, cleaned up trees, cleanup property, all sorts of stuff.”

If the governor signs the bill, it could give counties and cities much more leeway in maintaining improving or even demolishing abandoned properties. Residents here in Rantoul feel that the extra power for the community could really help improve the city.

“I think the city should have a little bit more power,” Creek said. “Because if the city of the city can’t come in and kind of hold a standard, what reason that people have come that city. So if the city has the ability to use funds for whatever reason to help the city become a better city, I 100 percent agree it should be able to do so.”

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