Carbondale Looks to Buy Blighted Property

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CARBONDALE -- It's been six years since fire destroyed a house in Carbondale. The city is now working to buy the property and turn a profit.

People who lived next to the house are skeptical but hope something happens soon.

"There are rodents and there are lots of cats around and the smell is something I am not looking forward to come summer," said Scott Bottle.

Bottle lives next to the burned-out house on Jeffery Street in Carbondale. The house has been in this condition since a fire six years ago. The homeowner had no insurance and has been unable to make repairs.

"It is very frustrating because I am sure it wouldn't cost all that much to get it cleaned up and I wish the city would do something at this point," said Bottle.

The city has fined the property owner several times. It also wants to buy the property at a judicial sale.

The plan would then be to tear down what's left of the house and put the property up for sale, but back taxes are holding up a deal.

"Quality of life for the city and for our residents is very important," said Mayor Justin Taylor. "Unfortunately, the resident thinks we have a magic wand. We have got burned in the past trying to do that. We don't demo properties that we don't own."

Ed Boricks has lived on Jefferey Street for 41 years. After looking at the burned-out building for so long, he just hopes for a happy ending.

"Hopefully, they turn it around and sell it and put it back on the tax rolls. It's a benefit for the county, a benefit for the town. It's a win-win all the way around," Boricks said.

Mayor Taylor says the city is trying to work out a plan to buy the property. The goal is to have the demolition complete and the property ready for sale sometime this summer.

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