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Burned out building to remain eyesore

10:51 PM, Nov 19, 2012   |    comments
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By Elizabeth Matthews

Belleville, IL (KSDK) - Two years ago a fire ripped through an historic building in downtown Belleville and now all that remains is a giant hole.

Now it appears that the downtown eyesore isn't going to be taken care of anytime soon.

The city council turned down a proposal to help correct the problem with a permanent fence.

The fire was more than two years ago in May of 2010, and since then only a temporary fence and some barricades are protecting the public from the hole.

A few city council members wanted that to change.

Before the vote Monday night on whether or not to build a fence, the mayor reminded the council that it is the advice from their attorneys that they don't do anything with this property. That's because the city is in a legal battle right now with the owner of the property at east Main and South Jackson.

After the fire the city decided to eventually demolish the rest of the building but apparently not with the owner's permission, according to the owner.

Since then the city has counter sued.

Because of this legal battle, city attorneys suggested nothing else be done to this property.

Both city leaders and downtown business owners agree, of course, they want this area to be cleaned up.

"We do check it daily for security, and unsightliness," said Mayor Mark Eckert. "It's a problem, but at this point we are going to, until we get the decision and then and then we will reconvene with the attorneys and then we will go next."

"Obviously I would like them to spend money take it one step further and figure something out whether it be a dog park or a parking garage," said downtown business owner Ryan Malaschak.

Mayor Eckert says they are hoping any day now for a decision in their legal battle with the owner and then they will go from there.

KSDK

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