City's actions put hole in the pockets of buildings' owners

September 11, 2013 

Have you ever had the city or state come onto your property, without your knowledge or permission, and permanently destroy your property? Probably not, and that is most likely why you find "the hole" in downtown Belleville to be the most aesthetically displeasing thing you have ever seen.

But do you think the owners are happy with the fact that their property has no value and no means to bring in income throughout this ordeal?

Let's not forget the details here. Belleville demolished two standing buildings without the owners' permission, preventing them from both taking bids and hiring the most economical and capable contractor (for which they were to ultimately pay), and having the opportunity to salvage any mementos that were in those buildings. And let's not forget, the contractor the city hired failed to file the most standard paperwork required in a demolition such as this to the EPA.

The city then had the audacity to bill the property owners for: the washing and buffing of their firetruck, the meals the police and firefighters ate because of working overtime, the overtime for those employees, the sidewalk that was damaged by the contractor the city hired.

Had the city not, in communist fashion, overstepped its boundaries, this "mess" in downtown Belleville would have been cleaned up more than two years ago. What taxpayers and business owners should be asking is not, why isn't this hole fixed, but why hasn't the city fixed it themselves? After all, they are the ones who made all of the decisions that got us here.

Becky Muir

O'Fallon

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