BUTTE — Some residents believe vacant, dilapidated houses are the reason for increased crime in the neighborhood and they believe it’s time for the city to tear them down.
“This situation is dangerous for me and my neighbors with these houses that are still being allowed to stand,” says Iron Street resident Trudy Healy.
Butte Commissioner John Riordan represents this neighborhood and say urban decay is a major concern among residents.
“This was a outstanding community, and still is and all that, in this hardworking area and we’ve let it kind of go in shambles,” says Riordan.
Healy says the vacant home in the 700 block of Main Street has been listed as a dangerous building by the city multiple times. It continues to attract squatters and she believes they are responsible for many petty crimes.
“Criminals continue to break into it, this past summer there was one criminal that lived there for five years on Main Street. We finally got rid of him, two more showed up. The derelicts don’t care if something’s boarded up, they don’t care if there’s a sign that says, ‘do not enter.’ That doesn’t work. The building needs to go,” says Healy.
Riordan says the city has about $220,000 from city auction sales earmarked for the demolitions of condemned homes. He is meeting with several city officials soon to determine if these homes can be taken down.
“I would like to see this program be a success and maybe possibly being budgeted every year,” says Riordan.
For some residents, this can’t happen soon enough.
“There are more good people in Butte than bad. Why are the losers winning? They’re taking over our neighborhood and we’ve got to stop it somewhere,” says Healy.