Springfield seeks to demolish some condemned houses

Local News

The city of Springfield is a step closer to getting rid of some of its blight.

Officials are looking to spend $200,000 this year to tear down some condemned buildings. The funding was discussed during its first reading at Tuesday’s city commission meeting.

According to Stephen Thompson, planning, zoning and code administrator, that amount of funding typically covers demolition of about 25 to 30 condemned houses.

Trishia Michael, who lives in Springfield, called the condemned buildings a “nuisance.”

“A lot of rodents could be coming in and out of there, too, during the winter and a lot of other pests,” she said.

A federal grant covers a portion of the funding, and the rest comes from the city, Thompson said.

“We can really see neighborhoods change through demolition,” he said.

The city still has to make a final decision about which buildings will be torn down this year, Thompson explained. The city doesn’t own the homes, and it’s up to the property owners to cover the costs of demolition, he added.

“We issue orders to the owners to either make repairs or demolish the structures themselves,” Thompson said. “If they don’t, that’s when we start our demolition process.”

Neighbors who spoke with 2 NEWS said they believe clearing condemned homes improves safety and quality of life in neighborhoods.

“It’ll actually make the neighborhood a little bit better, better-looking,” Michael said.

Once condemned structures are torn down, they remain vacant lots with grass until a property owner chooses to rebuild, Thompson said.

City commissioners are set to vote on the funding at their next meeting in two weeks, according to city officials.

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