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Public health department says nothing else can be done about roach-infested house until it’s sold

COYNE CENTER, Illinois -- Rock Island County's Public Health Department says they've completed the process regarding the abandoned home in Coyne Center infested with cockroaches.

The department's chief operating officer Janet Hill says inspectors visited the home at least six times to leave notices and letters, since late May 2019, when it received the first complaints about the home.

"There was a lot of trash on the property, which is initially how we got involved. There’s nuisance laws in the county that require homeowners to get rid of trash." Hill says. "That's for health and safety reasons. There could be vermin or insects that could cause health hazards. We take these complaints very seriously." 

After not hearing from the homeowner or occupants, the department filed a complaint with the Rock Island County Municipal Code Enforcement System. The homeowner was sent a summons to attend a court hearing on September 13, 2019, but didn't attend.

The home will now be auctioned off on October 8, 2019. Once the home is sold, the health department will send a notice to the new home owner, giving them ten days to clean up the property before they face fines.

Hill says the neighbors did the right thing by reporting the problem, and says that spraying pesticides are the best way to handle the situation for now.

"We followed the appropriate steps and followed all county and state laws to contact the homeowner and occupants and took it to the court hearing, and the process has been followed," Hill says. "Understandably, it has taken a while and I can certainly sympathize with the neighbors."

Hill expects the home to be sold at the auction next week, October 8, 2019. Its selling price starts at $750.

"It certainly is disgusting, but whether its a health hazard or nuisance, that's still a debate," Hill says. "But we realize that's been a major concern for the neighbors dealing with this since the end of May." 

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