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Local News

Joliet approves soil test for sinking garage

Andre Dixon points out flaws in his garage while discussing problems at the house in April.
Andre Dixon points out flaws in his garage while discussing problems at the house in April.

The city will do soil tests in a search of a solution to a man's sinking garage and driveway.

The tests will be done at 10 S. Richards St., one of 10 lots the city developed in 1997 for an affordable housing subdivision called Richards Grove.

Homeowner Andre Dixon is on his second garage, which is separating from the house while the driveway has a large dip created by sinking soil below.

"There are nine other homes that have not experienced this particular issue," Kendall Jackson, director of community development, told the City Council this week.

But the problems at Dixon's property have developed twice "so there is something going on beneath the surface," he said.

The council on Tuesday approved a $5,200 contract for TSC Testing Service.

TSC will provide a soil boring team with an engineer on site to be part of the analysis and recommendations on what to do about the property.

Richards Grove was built on the site of the Gerlach-Barklow calendar factory that burned down in 1995. The sinking is believed to be related to leftover debris and water lines from the factory.

Dixon wants the city to buy the house back, which he contends city officials once were willing to do.

"This has been going on for two years since I got an offer to buy the house," Dixon told the council. "The city made the offer to me."

City officials have said they negotiated with Dixon but never reached an agreement on price.

"I don't want it to sound like we weren't willing to work with Mr. Dixon," Councilman Terry Morris said.

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