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Freeport Kicks Off Fall Demolition Program

Getting rid of abandoned homes in rundown neighborhoods is a big problem for many cities in the Stateline, but one city is finally getting ready to roll out the demolition crews.

FREEPORT- Shattered windows, trash, and a collapsing roof is why the City of Freeport is demolishing an abandoned home at 604 South Miami Avenue.

It’s just one of more than 40 abandoned and blighted homes Set to be torn down. It's the first step in Freeport’s fall demolition program, focusing on neighborhood rehabilitation.

"We’re going to work from this house, which is the first one we're removing to a whole series of residential and commercial structures that need to be removed, need to be demolished,” said Freeport Mayor Jim Gitz.

He’s calling for the demolition of these abandoned homes based on the Broken Windows Theory of law enforcement that states overgrown properties and illegal dumping create environments that breed crime. 

Another step to prevent crime is strict code enforcement, which helps improve the overall look of older neighborhoods.

"Once we can go in and start eliminating some of the problem properties it makes the housing stock in the neighborhood step up a little bit," said Freeport Building Commissioner Shaun Gallagher.

The city plans on demolishing the homes fast and quickly. Mayor Gitz says they'll be respectful to the fact that in many cases a court order needs to be obtained to proceed to the final steps of demolition.

"I believe that if we put all these steps together we will have a better community, a safer community and a community that is well on its road to recovery," said Gitz.

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