By Bob Balgemann


Two unrelated requests for property in differing states of repair have been presented for action to the Belvidere City Council.

Van Buren Street resident Cory Lind was first to speak during the public comments portion of the Sept. 19 regular meeting. His concern was with a house at 922 Van Buren, which he claimed had fallen into disrepair.

He said a fire occurred at the residence last year and that some windows are still boarded up. He cited other problems with the lawn not being mowed regularly and with trash lying about.

In addition, he said the property was owned by a city employee whose job it is to enforce codes.

“It’s not fair for a city employee who enforces codes to let his property be out of code,” he said. “That looks hypocritical to us.”

Lind said six different neighbors had asked him if he could help with the situation. He encouraged aldermen to look at the house in question and then the rest of the neighborhood.

“It’s a pretty big eyesore; kind of a laughing stock,” he said.

Van Buren is in City Ward 4 and one of its two representatives, Alderman Ron Brooks, asked Lind if he had called either him or Alderman George Crawford.

Lind answered that he did not, adding, “I should have reached out to my aldermen, I know that. The city has known about it; I know things take time.”

Brooks said he was familiar with the property and that it was “pretty junky. It does need some work. We’ll look into it, I guarantee you.”

Mayor Mike Chamberlain said he also would be responsive.

Alderman Clint Morris wondered how long this problem had been going on.

“On and off over the last two years,” Lind said. “I’ve called, then it got better, then it would fall back.”

Neighborhood park

Former Alderman Andy Racz was the second to address the council, reiterating his wish that a neighborhood park be established at Christi Lane and High Line Avenue.

“There is no neighborhood park in that area,” he said. “Check the map; look at the underserved area. There are lots of children and a neighborhood park should be developed there.”

“You all know the city has recognized the need by acquiring and improving the property,” he said. “The police and fire departments conducted outreach programs this past summer. Other civic-minded organizations including the park district joined them, providing recreational activities.”

After citing needs at two other parks in the city, he wondered if park district officials visited recreational facilities within their jurisdiction on a regular basis. Doing that, he said, would help them in setting priorities.

Then, he asked council to adopt a resolution encouraging the Belvidere Park District to create a park at that location.

“Nudge them [the park district] with a resolution,” he said.

There was no response to his request.


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