Vigo County Officials set their sights on blight elimination

If you have a home you'd like to report, contact the Vigo County Building Inspection Department at 812-462-3365.

Posted: Mar 11, 2019 6:58 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - As the weather starts getting warmer, more work will happen to make Vigo County a more beautiful and safe place to live.

That's with the elimination of blighted or unsafe homes. According to County Officials, Vigo is home to dozens of properties like this.

News 10 spoke with County Commissioner Brendan Kearns about blighted homes. In Fontanet there are many folks who think several of their houses should be knocked down first.

This includes resident Sandra Stabler. She explains, "You know it's about the first thing when people come to our little community, that's the first thing they see."

Stabler has lived in the area close to three decades. She says she hates how blighted homes are impacting her community.

Stabler shares, "It's nice that you know they're cleaning up the yards and making people get rid of their junk trucks and cars and junk out of their yard, but yet they're leaving the homes that are falling down that people haven't lived in for 2 years, 5 years, 10 years."

Stabler says she's not the only one taking notice, her friends are too.

The resident explains, "She does see people come in and out of there you know, drink their beer or whatever, congregate, and since she lives alone it scares her somewhat, that's why she has 4 dogs."

Vigo County Commissioners are in the process of taking stock of blighted houses that need to be knocked down.
As a supporter of the Fontanet Action Community Team, a group dedicated to improving the area, Stabler says she'd love to see ones in her community go first.

She says, "How long have they been empty, and where do they stand in the community. I mean if it's something that when somebody drives by they see right off the bat."

Commissioner Brendan Kearns was out touring blighted homes in his district. That's to help decide which homes will be knocked down first. There's only so much money in the budget to tear them down.

Historically, homes like this have been known to be dangerous or prone to collapse. That's because no one is keeping up with the home to make sure it's still structurally sound.

These houses are also known to attract squatters, pests, and drug activity. Kearns says the owner of the property can impact the urgency of when a blighted house is torn down.

He explains, "Kind of a concern that I have is this particular property here, the listing shows that it's owned by somebody in Arizona. So more than likely the person who owns this property has no ties to it. So it's important for us to get properties like this one cleaned up.”

If you have a home you'd like to report, contact the Vigo County Building Inspection Department at 812-462-3365.

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