The Starke County Planning Commission is busy ridding the county of blighted and vacant homes. In the past four months, 18 enforcement letters have been sent out for unsafe structures, and 15 property owners have taken care of the problems themselves. The county will demolish three unsafe structures. Of those, two are already down. Dirtworks Excavating, J.D. Excavating and Pioneer Excavating have each volunteered to demolish one structure at no cost to the county. Planning Commission President Dennis Estok is pleased with the process.
“The planning commission’s goal is to have the property owners take pride in their community and their land and address any unsafe structures themselves so that we do not have to get involved,” stated Estok.
Estok says it is more cost effective for the property owners to take care of the unsafe structures themselves rather than have the county do it. So far 17 of the 18 properties have been demolished.
“We’ve got one left and the county has to take that down because the people will not respond anymore after they received their letters at their public hearing so we’ve got one more that we’ve got scheduled to take down.”
Over 120 unsafe structures have been cited throughout the county. The future plans are to continue to identify these unsafe structures and send the enforcement letters to the property owners. So far the property owners have responded well and are realizing it is more cost efficient to do it themselves.