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Two western Illinois communities closer to demolishing dilapidated houses

This home at 383 Jefferson Street is among 11 properties to be demolished in Galesburg.
Jane Carlson
This home at 383 Jefferson Street is among 11 properties to be demolished in Galesburg.

Macomb and Galesburg are preparing to tear down more dilapidated houses. The cities hope to enhance the look of neighborhoods while also improving safety.


A dozen properties are on Macomb’s list. The city council this week agreed to solicit bids to inspect those homes for asbestos and have it removed if found. That has to be done before demolition can begin.

Community Development Coordinator John Bannon said getting rid of abandoned and rundown houses improves neighborhoods.

“No one wants to live next to an abandoned, dilapidated structure. So removing these is good for the community. It’s going to help Macomb move forward and be the best version of itself it can be,” he said.

Bannon said a grant from the Illinois Housing Development Authority will pay for the asbestos work and the demolitions.

He said it might be another two or three months before crews begin tearing down the houses.


The city council this week approved demolition of 11 properties deemed either dangerous to the public or too expensive to restore.

D and T Demolition was awarded the project after submitting a $212,000 bid.

Some of the properties are already city-owned. For those that aren’t, Galesburg officials will bill the owners in an attempt to recoup demolition costs.

The city is also preparing to sell 22 vacant parcels in residential neighborhoods. The minimum bids for the vacant properties will be $100.

The city said the goal is to get the properties back on tax rolls and eliminate city maintenance costs, while generating funds for future foreclosures.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.
Jane Carlson is TSPR's regional reporter.