Demolition project quickens pace in Freeport - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Demolition project quickens pace in Freeport

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For years, Freeport leaders have been trying clear out blighted homes in different areas of the city. Until now, the process only leveled a couple per year.

"Usually there was problems with legal consent or funding that was available to take these down," said City Engineer and Building Commissioner, Shaun Gallagher.

With those problems out of the way a $100,000 budget will allow Gallagher and demo crews to make some noise.

"We've preceded with one demo a week for the last four weeks and assumingly proceeding through the rest of the fall with at least one if not two or three demos per week as we move forward."

The goal is 20 homes, maybe more before winter sets in. Currently, 52 South Louis Avenue is under demo. Since September 13th, homes on South Miami, South Mary and East Crocker have come down.

Next week, 1030 South State Avenue will join the list.

"You know it's pretty exciting, usually the neighbors come out to watch," said Gallagher.

One of those neighbors Gallagher talks about is David Fritz. He's lived across from the falling in home for a decade now.

"You know, the rats and the mice and the eyesore that it is it means a lot to us because you know the neighbors are trying to fix their houses up and we're doing the same," said Fritz.

But the physical demolition isn't the only benefit for Fritz and his family.

"My wife used to live there before and you know, she had a lot of hard times in that house and to see the house come down because of the eyesore and the memories that were in it, it would make her happy."

Freeport Mayor Jim Gitz expects to ask Freeport City Council members for more money to continue demolitions before the end of the fiscal year.

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