Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Demolition Of Vacant House By Advanced Demolition

A vacant, dilapidated house at 301 Lynnhaven Drive will be demolished by Advanced Demolition.

City Council members Monday approved a low bid of $4,500 from Advanced Demolition of East Peoria to tear down the house, remove debris and grade the property. City Administrator Jim Culotta said demolition probably will begin in a few weeks. Before that happens, city workers will remove a large tire in the backyard that has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes because of stagnant water, according to neighbors who spoke at the council meeting. The city owns the Lynnhaven property after having it declared abandoned and being granted a judicial need.

Nobody has lived in the house since the former owner died in June 2013. Neighbors first contacted city officials and expressed concerns about the house last summer. The three-bedroom, one-bathroom, 775-square-foot house south of Washington Plaza was built in 1965. It has an attached 264-square-foot garage that now has a plastic sheet covering the entrance.

"This is a neighborhood of well-kept homes. I can't imagine what it has been like for neighbors who live nearby or drive past the home to have to look at this house," said Mayor Gary Manier. "I'm sorry it has taken so long to get to this point, but we needed to do things the right way, the legal way," he said.

Aldermen directed city staff to have the house demolished on the contractor's schedule and not wait for a possible legal snag to be untangled. City Attorney Rick Russo advised alderman to wait until a buyer of the home's back taxes was reimbursed by Tazewell County before the house demolition takes place. But aldermen went against Russo's advice, even though the city could incur legal costs to resolve the back taxes situation.

Culotta said he doesn't anticipate the legal fees would be significant and he's asked Russo to check with the county regularly to make sure the reimbursement process is moving quickly. Advanced Demolition of East Peoria was the low bidder at $4,250 for the house demolition last month of a dilapidated home at 400 N. Lawndale Ave. in Washington. The city doesn't own the house, but it obtained court permission to have the house torn down.