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home : local news : local news June 25, 2016

9/12/2013 11:06:00 AM
More complaints about abandoned S. Cross building
The Robinson City Council heard about problems at 707 S. Cross St. at their meeting Tuesday night.

The two-story apartment building was damaged by arson on Sept. 19, 2012, and has been abandoned since then. Its foundation is lower than the surrounding ground level, and the building has several inches of standing water.

Alderman Karen Bowman told the council she has received multiple complaints about the property.

Tony Marksberry lives at 803 S. Franklin, about 100 yards from the abandoned structure. He said it is a safety hazard for the 14 children who live in the area. Eight of them walk to school, he said, and he's directed his child to take a different route to avoid the building.

He said he's concerned about children becoming interested in the toys floating in the water, or just wanting to explore, and becoming injured. When the temperature drops to freezing, he said he's worried about the ice attracting children and causing a fall hazard.

The property is owned by Stephanie Bond of Texas following the death of her husband, Gabriel Omo-Osagie, who also owned rental properties in Champaign-Urbana. Omo-Osagie died after what the Champaign County Sheriff's Office determined was a domestic dispute with Bond in 2010. The office said he shot Bond three times before killing himself.

Police Chief Bill Ackman said the man managing the property for Bond was supposed to pump out the water several months ago. Ackman suggested writing a letter stating the city would begin to fine the owner if the building remains a public nuisance.

Marksberry said this is the first time since he moved there four and a half years ago he hasn't been able to barbecue because of the mosquitoes. It's to the point he can only mow the yard in the morning, he said. He asked that the lower part of the building be boarded up to prevent access to the first floor.

The city has treated the water once for mosquitoes.

No immediate action was taken at the meeting.

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