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Rockford Residents Speak out on Abandoned Building Dangers

Residents fear illegal activities inside abandoned homes puts children at risk.
Rockford- The sign reads do not enter, but that’s not stopping people from breaking into abandoned buildings. Shattered glass and beer bottles are all over the front lawn.

Owner if ISpinello Locksmiths Guy Spinello wants change.

Spinello says “I’m very concerned about the welfare of the children in the neighborhood. There’s a lot of children here and with these people hanging out here day and night it’s really dangerous and it’s trespassing.”

Spinello adds “the city needs to move forward with their liens and get these houses torn down. Or they need to make some sort of arrangement to get title and then donate them to an organization.”

City workers have been working hard to prevent break-ins to the old Rock River School located on Kishwaukee Street. If you take a look inside you can see there’s not much left, except huge graffiti gang sings on the wall

Why not just tear the building down you ask? Well that could cost over a quarter million dollars. Money the city says it doesn’t have.

Deputy Director, Community & Economic Development Todd Cagnoni says “unfortunately when you look at the need that’s out there in regards to structures that are dilapidated you know revenue isn’t as great as we’d like it to be.”

The vacant building is also right next to a school bus stop. This has some residents up in arms.

Rockford resident Johnny Alexander says “right now it’s nice and in the morning it’s light but in the fall its dark and you got children standing there by themselves. You don’t know what could be happening to them.”

The city plans on tearing down four abandoned buildings in the near future.
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