Vigo County government to demolish 10 blighted properties

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VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Vigo County Commissioners awarded a $66,000 bid to Bell and Bell Demolition for the demolition of ten blighted properties in the area.

Barbara Schoemaker lives near one of the ten homes on the demolition list.

The home, located at 4340 S. 12th Street has been abandoned for years, according to Schoemaker.

“Several neighbors have reported it because it is a hazard,” she said.

Schoemaker is concerned for the safety of neighborhood children.

“I worry about them. And then you don’t know what teenagers are doing around at night,” she explained. “They could get in there and fall through to the basement. And they have even seen a fox run in there before.”

Each of the 10 homes is up for demolition, this after the county engineer and Code Enforcement Officer Dale Sowards obtained court orders stating the structures were unsafe and needed to be torn down.

“We’ve divided them up into areas. Some of them were fires and people have moved,” said Vigo County Commissioner President Brad Anderson. “I think there was a even a couple left from the floods in ’08 that need to be torn down.”

Demolition is expensive, and Sowards can only take down so many structures per year.

“If it’s a mobile home, then they’re much simpler. They could be $2,000 or $3,000 to get rid of,” explained Sowards. “But if you take down a two story structure with a full basement in it you’re probably talking 10 to $15,000.”

Any of the 10 structures could be torn down within the next few weeks and county officials hope to bring about some positive changes to the community.

“Right now it’s just better to get them torn down and get them cleaned up,” said Anderson. “Then we can take care of that and possibly get rid of some of the properties.”

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