FREEPORT (WIFR) -- Since last September, the city of Freeport has been able to get nearly 30 abandoned or vacant structures torn down. Today, two more fall to their demise.
The IOCO gas station and a residential home on South Galena Avenue both crumbled to the ground with the help of city crews. The demolition is part of an effort to clean up the highway corridors leading into Freeport. City officials have been working for the last year to get cooperation with the gas station’s owner and the cost of today’s demolition was split down the middle.
“Even since before Galena Avenue was restored by the state, we’ve had an issue with this property being abandoned and kept vacant. Most recently, when the roof was taken off. It’s been left as a hazard to the community so it’s obviously a positive sign that things like this that are no longer acceptable in the city of Freeport, are being taken care of,” said city engineer, Shaun Gallagher.
“There’s no excuse for having a city that has decrepit building with bad roofs and are in bad repair in my book and that’s what we’re all about. We need to make sure that this city improves its job picture, its neighborhoods, and is a safer community,” said Mayor Jim Gitz.
Mayor Gitz says that there are plenty more buildings along Galena Avenue that the city is trying to get torn down. The city is targeting any old residential and commercial properties that are unsafe or in need of repair.
City officials say that they are giving these building owners two options -- either demolition or litigation. After crews clear out the old gas station property, all of the pavement will be removed and the ground will be re-seeded and landscaped.