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Photo contributed

This house, located at 320 Front St. in Hoopeston, will be one of six properties demolished in the coming weeks.

The Central Illinois Land Bank Authority (CILBA) recently awarded a $78,500 contract to Lee Farms Excavating to demolish six residential properties in Hoopeston over the next few weeks.

This builds off the 12 demolitions that CILBA did throughout Vermilion County last fall – four of those properties were located in Hoopeston. The demolition work is being funded through a $125,000 Illinois Housing Development Authority Strong Communities Program grant, a $100,000 matching grant from the Hoopeston Retirement Village Foundation, and a $50,000 match from the City of Hoopeston.

Bill Nicholls, who is a board member of the land bank and the Hoopeston Retirement Village Foundation, said “the foundation was excited to provide matching funds on the state grant so CILBA could scale up their demolition work locally. This is a great example of collaboration where the land bank wrote that state grant for Hoopeston and that was matched by a local foundation and the city. The land bank has also been a great resource for technical and legal assistance that the smaller communities don’t have access to.” CILBA is excited to have over $250,000 to really move the needle on much needed demolitions in Hoopeston.

The following six properties are being demolished by the land bank: 320 Front Street, 322 Front Street, 520 E Honeywell, 210 E Washington, 406 E Thompson, and 908 W Washington. Two of the properties were donated to the land bank, two were purchased from the County Trustee, and another two required nine months of legal work to obtain the property title.

Kellie Ferrell, a Hoopeston City Council member, said “the land bank has been a great resource in tackling some eyesore properties that were top priorities for the city. We’re thrilled with this land bank partnership and excited to keep the work going – CILBA has already identified the next batch of four properties to be demolished.”

Over the last two years, CILBA has raised over $500,000 for demolition work throughout Vermilion County. Besides the Hoopeston demolitions, the land bank also wrote grant applications for Georgetown, Rankin, Ridge Farm and Westville. Each community received a $45,000 grant from Illinois Housing Development Authority Strong Communities Program that will be administered by the land bank.

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