Vacant buildings costing Belleville residents, money, official s - KMOV.com

Vacant buildings costing Belleville residents, money, official says

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A vacant house in Belleville. Credit: KMOV A vacant house in Belleville. Credit: KMOV
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) -

A Belleville alderman says blight is costing Belleville money and people.

Ward 4 Alderman Raffi Ovian says vacant buildings and lots all across the city are becoming a public safety issue, saying some of the blight is responsible for population loss and lost revenue.

“We have a budget crunch basically because we are losing population,” said Ovian. “We don’t want property that is going to present a problem for crime.”

Ovian is proposing a plan that he says that will force people to maintain their property.

Under the plan, each of Belleville 16 aldermen will submit one problem property. They will then determine if the owner should pay an inspection fee, then they will ask for a cash bond. Next, they will for a list of repairs or for a recommendation for demolition.

“What it means is if people don’t cut their grass or maintain their property, I’ll knock on their door. I am a little different from the other aldermen,” said Ovian.

The plan is still going through several committees. It could be voted on by the full board of aldermen by August.

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