The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

September 19, 2012

Hoopeston council hears safety complaint


HOOPESTON — Ginger Grant, Harris Agency Inc., 221 S. Market St., questioned city council members and Mayor Bill Crusinberry Tuesday in regard to the safety issue in the clean up of the E. B. Collins building at 712 W. Main St.

"Why isn’t there a safety issue here?" Grant asked. "Adults and kids still have to walk out in the road to go around the fence that is still up. How is that not a safety issue? We have an issue here that’s not getting done. This has been going on for three years."

The north wall and ceiling of the building north of the Harris Agency collapsed three years ago and, after numerous trips to the courts in Hoopeston and Danville, the owner is taking the building down brick by brick to bring it level with the other buildings.

"We did get something done with this building," Crusinberry said. "Not as fast as we wanted, but we did get something done."

The E.B. Collins building imploded this past summer and the building was knocked down due to safety issues with children cutting through the property from the Little League field. The building still had falling debris, according to Crusinberry.

"This was my decision. I will take the heat for it," Crusinberry said. "It comes with sitting in this chair."

Monday, the debris at E. B. Collins was picked up and taken to the city slab until the responsible owner can be found. A lien will be placed on the property to cover the removal of the material, demolition, labor and fuel, Crusinberry said.

According to Crusinberry, the debris of the building on Market is inside four walls, which is a barrier to any passersby. The E. B. Collins building debris was on the ground and open for anyone to come in contact with it.

Crusinberry will check to see if the sidewalk in front of the Market Street building is safe enough to have the fence removed or at least moved enough to allow walkers access to the sidewalk rather than walk in the streets.

In other council business:

Council members unanimously approved a conditional use for Natasha Menschal for a beauty shop in her home at 714 S. 4th St. They also approved a variance to Anderson Funeral Home for a drive extension to include frontage property of the Evans family next door.

Learned that fire truck engine No. 2 had been sold for $3,850 to Apex One Equity, outside of Crawfordsville, Ind. Money from the sale would go into the equipment fund for the fire department.

Learned the coyotes have been seen in Hoopeston. A pack of five coyotes were spotted near the library on 4th Street.

Learned that a Let’s Walk Vermilion County Project has been offered to the Hoopeston community to increase walking in the community. A contact person is needed for the project.

What’s next

Hoopeston City Council members will meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 2 in City Hall, 301 W. Main St.