Contract to Raze Decrepit Cairo Housing Projects OK'd

Mar 20, 2019

Credit Matt Markgraf / WKMS

Demolition of two complexes run by the troubled Alexander County Housing Authority in southern Illinois will begin next month.

The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports the housing authority board voted Tuesday to award a $1.9 million demolition contract. Benton-based RCRA Inc. will raze 280 apartments in the Elmwood and McBride complexes.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development took control of the housing authority in 2016 after recording years of poor living conditions and fiscal mismanagement.

HUD announced last fall it would provide $6 million for demolishing Elmwood and McBride. They say the cost is lower because expected prevailing-wage laws don't apply to demolition. They hope leftover money can used to raze two projects in Thebes.

Renovating the World War II-era Elmwood and McBride complexes would have cost $7.5 million.

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