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Grant could help demolish dilapidated homes in Perry, Missouri

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PERRY, Mo (WGEM) — A northeast Missouri town wants to knock down 18 structures and they hope to use a federal grant to fund the work.

Imagine living across the street from a run-down house. For some people in Perry, Missouri, that’s a reality and they want the eyesores removed.

Chris Rice owns a weekend home in Perry. He’s owned it for several years but every time he looks out from his front porch he sees this.

“When we come out it’s a bit of an eyesore when we come out on the front porch for a cup of coffee or have a drink and that’s what we get to see,” said Rice.

The city said that’s not the only run-down home in town. They said there’s about 17 more. For a small town, that’s a lot which is why they’re looking to do something about it.

The mayor said they’re in the process of acquiring a Community Development Block Grant which will help fund demolition of the homes but they need the building owner to participate.

“The grant is actually going to be able to tear the house down and when the house is done, they go through and till the land up and grass seed it,” said Mayor Chad Williams.

Williams hopes this program will help modernize the town with newer homes going up in place of the dilapidated ones.

“That’s 18 new houses that could possibly be in Perry. To me that’s very big because it could bring more people into Perry and let us have more revenue,” said Williams.

Meanwhile residents want to see this program happen because it can, in turn, help restore their property values.

“It doesn’t help the town especially being one block off main street and everyone can see it. Really, the town has so much to offer, it’s an awesome town. I just hope that doesn’t reflect what the city of Perry is,” said Rice.

Williams said they plan to hold an informational meeting December 3rd and at that time they hope to have a timeline of when they could secure the grant and when these homes can start coming down.

The mayor said they want owners of run-down homes to come to city hall to sign up to participate in the program. The home must be beyond repair and must not have been lived in for over a year.If they get the grant, the mayor expects the city to still have to put up about $900 per house.

 

Brett Knese

Multi-Media Journalist at WGEM News.

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