Exchange Club meets

President-Elect Kim Hance introduced Tim Harris, Beardstown City Councilman, to the members of the Exchange Club of Beardstown at their regular meeting on Feb. 2. Mr. Harris spoke about the procedures for tearing down abandoned property. Though the Code Enforcement Rules have been in place for a very long time, those rules have not always been enforced. To carry out the procedures for tearing down a property is a long and often expensive process. Approval from the city council and the mayor is the first step. Next, an attorney must be contacted to conduct a title search following which all owners must be contacted. For one local property there were twelve owners (heirs). Registered letters are sent to owners and any “tax buyers.” These “tax-buyers” have three years to exercise their rights thus, of course, delaying any action. Public notice must appear in a newspaper for three consecutive days so the notice must be in a “daily” paper; a costly process. A 30-day waiting period follows. Signs are then posted on the property, again for 30 days. When all this is completed, the actual clean-up takes very little time, though of course, there are expenses with the process. In some instances, private citizens have cleaned up neighboring properties and they benefit by increasing the value of their own property and removing eyesores. With the demolition of neglected property the entire community benefits by insuring a more favorable impression to businesses or individuals interested in locating here.