Plans are in place for the demolition of 20 to 25 di- lapidated houses this year in what the City of Shawnee calls an unprecedented effort to remove blight and improve neighborhoods.


Plans are in place for the demolition of 20 to 25 di- lapidated houses this year in what the City of Shawnee calls an unprecedented effort to remove blight and improve neighborhoods.
The plan is the result of the recent approval by City Manager Brian McDougal to add a new code enforcement offi- cer, along with the additional funding of $30,000 because of increased revenues.
“It’s our preference to allow individuals to improve or remodel their property,” Justin Erickson, community development and planning director, said. “However, when a property has been abandoned or burned and when criminals and even children can move about of these structures freely it becomes a public safety issue that must be addressed.”
The City also plans to utilize utility meter readers in the identification of code violations.
“They carry a sophisticated hand held machine that al- lows them to code in the reading they take,” Erickson said. “We believe they can also use these machines to code in suspected code violations, but they will not write tickets or make contact with suspected code violators.
The City plans to enforce all standing ordinances, but intends to focus on dilapi- dated buildings, properties containing trash or debris, derelict vehicles, the parking of recreational vehicles and tall grass and weeds.
The City plans to send out flyers in April with utility bills in March.
“The flyers will serve as an educational tool for trash collection, and will highlight the demolition grant assistance program,” Erickson said. “It will also tell people that the City is taking this situation seriously and encouraging community envelopment.”
Violations can be reported City’s website, or by calling 878-1602.

“One of the problems we have faced is that a property maybe sold at a tax auction for $2,000 to $3,000 but
needs $30,000 worth of work just to make it livable,” Erickson said.

The City recently condemned a burned home at 718 N. McKinley.