City hopes plan to clean up abandoned buildings will help reduce crime on east side

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --City leaders hope a ten million dollar bond issue will help clean up the community of hundreds of dangerous and vacant buildings.

Mayor Sly James and the city manager submitted the city's budget for next year, which includes the plan to tear down dangerous buildings.

There are currently 870 buildings considered dangerous or vacant in the Kansas City, Mo., area. Many of those are homes are located on the city's east side. So this plan should be a positive for residents on the east side.

Of the 870, the city owns 250 of them. Before the city demolishes them, the buildings will be offered up for $1. The person who buys the building will be required to rehab during a certain time period and also live in the home. The city will give them the cost of tearing the home down to go toward the rehab.

As far as the other homes owned by out-of-town people or organizations, the city will tear them down and send the tab to the owner for $15,000.

“This isn't going to be a quick one week thing,” Mayor James said. “First we have to sell the bonds and get the money. And it's going to take a couple years because like I said 250 of 870 buildings we can take those down now. The rest of them, they're owned by somebody.”

City leaders hope if the homes are rehabbed, it will take care of some of the crime that they say often takes place on the abandoned properties.