The first of three dilapidated homes scheduled for demolitions in January has been removed, with the remaining two homes scheduled to be removed on March 1. Neighbors of the removed residence at 1404 E. Seventh Street were relieved to see the structure removed. Within eye sight of the now vacant lot sits another dilapidated home, still in the process of removal and yet another home boarded up.


The first of three dilapidated homes scheduled for demolitions in January has been removed, with the remaining two homes scheduled to be removed on March 1. Neighbors of the removed residence at 1404 E. Seventh Street were relieved to see the structure removed. Within eye sight of the now vacant lot sits another dilapidated home, still in the process of removal and yet another home boarded up.
Earnest Smith has lived on Seventh Street for six years.
“We rebuilt our home from the inside out,” Smith said. “It was dilapidated when we bought it.”
Smith said that crime in the area had gone up significantly since the homes originally burned or became abandoned.
“Everyone in the neighborhood has been hit by thieves. We had our car stolen from the driveway,” Smith stated. “This is a really nice neighborhood during the day, but at night it turns into a jungle.”
Six months ago, Sarah Nance and her husband moved from Florida to Shawnee.
“We didn’t know it when we moved here, but I guess this area is kind of a ghetto,” Nance said. “I’m glad they tore that home down, it was an eyesore.”
Smith said that one neighbor, who after spending two years away, returned to find his home burned out by transients.
“He was a really nice guy, a good neighbor,” Smith said. “He made one mistake and lost everything, it really is tragic.”
Less than one block away, a new home sits on a previously vacant lot where a dilapidated home once sat.
“I would like to see houses rebuilt on these empty lots,” Smith said. “I would like to see the neighborhood come back up.”
Smith said that one homeowner has spent the last few months tearing down his home after a heater fire made it unlivable two years ago.
“He has been out there every day, one man with one truck, since the city told him to tear it down. He was even out there when the snow came in,” Smith said. “I hope he rebuilds, he was a really good neighbor.”
The City will accept demolition bids March 1 on homes located at 25 E. Dexter and 1014 E. Ninth Street. A dilapidated home located at 1112 E. Whittaker was ordered demolished in November and is scheduled for demolition this week.
Public hearings held on Feb. 10 found homes at 312 S. Market, 427 S. Minnesota, 907 N. Tucker dilapidated and the city ordered them removed.
A public hearing to discuss the demolition of three more dilapidated home will take place in March, as the city continues with plans to clean up and beautify Shawnee. The city also plans on adding a full-time municipal court clerk and a nuisance code enforcement officer.
“Judge Jones asked the city commission to review the need for a full-time clerk,” City Manager Brian McDougal, said. “We have had a need for a position to overlook the court system for some time, we just didn’t have it in the budget.”
Applications for the court clerk position are now being reviewed, while the nuisance code enforcement position was approved by city manager Brian McDougal.
“This will double our code enforcement abilities,” Justin Erickson, community development director, said. “The enforcement officer will enforce city ordinances on tall grass and weeds, derelict vehicles and standing trash.”
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Robby Short may be contacted by calling 214-3934