The Central Illinois Land Bank Authority (CILBA) approved a $34,500 contract with Lee Farms Excavating for its next round of demolitions in Georgetown and Westville.

The properties being demolished are 502 S. Main St. and 210 W. West St., Georgetown; and 1508 Franklin St. in Westville. The demolitions are funded through separate $45,000 Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Strong Communities Program grants that CILBA wrote and is administering for Georgetown and Westville.

The Georgetown demolitions started this week and the property in Westville will be demolished next month.

Jack Morrison, who is a board member of the land bank and Georgetown City Council member said, “the properties CILBA is helping Georgetown demolish are on prominent street corridors. It’s great the land bank is literally helping us clean up Main Street to tackle blight. This is the first time that Georgetown is doing ‘fast track’ demolitions. The land bank has helped us take a proactive approach to these blighted properties that drag down other people’s property values and pose public safety hazards.”

CILBA recently completed a round of demolitions in October and November that included four properties in Rankin, two in Ridge Farm, one in Westville and one in Hoopeston.

The eight homes were demolished by Sniders Trucking, Inc. – who won a competitive bid in September for a $76,795 contract. The land bank has a separate contract with Republic Services for landfill tipping fees and the total bill for eight demolitions was $33,731.

Between the demolition contractor and landfill costs, the average demolition cost was about $14,529 across the eight properties in Vermilion County. Most of the homes contained asbestos, which causes costs to increase, that had to be abated prior to demolition.

Mike Davis, executive director of CILBA, said, “after purchasing several more county trustee properties in October, CILBA has another round of demolitions planned in early 2023 that will spend all of the $500,000 in project grants the land bank has written and administered for smaller Vermilion County member communities. I’m thrilled the land bank has been able to deliver real results to smaller communities in the county that want to proactively tackle blight. We’ve worked hard to obtain six different state IHDA grants to support this blight work.”

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