Decatur, IL – A slate of vacated buildings will be demolished following action from the Decatur City Council tonight.
At the July 5, 2022 meeting, the City Council approved agreements with multiple contractors for demolitions throughout the city. A total of 21 vacant and abandoned buildings will come down as a result of the approved agreements. These demolitions aid in Neighborhood Revitalization – one of the Council’s top priorities.
In addition to the approved demolitions, the Council also authorized action on another 19 unsafe and abandoned structures in Decatur. This step initiates the demolition legal process and allows City staff to begin seeking court orders to demolish these structures.
At the direction of the Council, the City began demolishing vacated buildings in 2021. A total of 36 buildings were demolished in that year. So far in 2022, the City has demolished 31 buildings, and is on track to double the demolitions from last year.
The demolition process is a lengthy and challenging one. First, buildings need to be identified and deemed “Unfit for Human Habitation” by qualified City staff. Next, City staff seeks court orders that allow for possible demolition. Following the legal process, it’s required there be an asbestos survey & possible abatement, utility disconnections, and some other final preparations. Another challenge the City has realized is that there is a limited number of contractors available to bid on these projects.
The City maintains a list of other properties deemed to be unsafe and abandoned that are likely to go through the demolition process. That list contains approximately 183 structures.
Other notable action from Tuesday’s meeting: The City continues to move forward with the Brush College Road Grade Separation project. The Council approved a contract with Entler Excavating Company Inc. to demolish buildings in the area so the project can move forward.
Also, the Council approved relaxed rules for consuming alcohol in the Transfer House in Central Park. The ordinance allows for easier use of the park and Transfer House for permitted events.
Additionally, a number of residents from the Lincoln Park area spoke during the public comment section regarding the news from Decatur Public Schools & the Decatur Park District about a possible new school building in that area. The City does not have a position on this development as it is a DPS and Park District project. There has been no formal communication between the government bodies regarding any infrastructure needs and no site plans have been submitted to City staff.
More information can be found in the City Council Agenda packet, downloadable/viewable here: www.decaturil.gov/mayor-and-council/council-meetings/