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Local News

Joliet City Council sounds ready to resolve Dixon dilemma

Andre Dixon wants the city to buy back his Joliet house with a sinking garage and driveway.
Andre Dixon wants the city to buy back his Joliet house with a sinking garage and driveway.

One problem facing city government other than coronavirus is what to do with Andre Dixon's house.

Dixon has been seeking relief for a sinking garage and driveway since the last recession, and he could be getting closer based on comments by the City Council last week.

Dixon was the only member of the public to address the council March 17 when it met under social-distancing conditions that required him to wait outside of council chamber until his turn to speak.

Pointing to a 2017 letter from the city, Dixon said, "I've been under the impression that my house would be purchased all this time."

Dixon and city officials have been at odds over whether there was an agreement to buy his house at a set price.

The city recently had been preparing to do soil testing on the property to seek a fix to the problem, but council members suggested another answer more satisfactory to Dixon.

"We know what's down there – stuff that shouldn't be down there," Councilman Terry Morris said. "Mr. Dixon wants to move."

Dixon lives in the Richards Grove subdivision consisting of 10 houses developed by the city in the 1990s to provide affordable single-family homes.

Councilman Michael Turk said Dixon's house on Richards Street appears to be "the only one in the immediate area that is having that problem."

"I think we need to bring this to a head relatively quick," Turk said. "It's been three years now, and it's pretty frustrating."

It's been three years since the letter Dixon considers an offer to buy his house, but the problems go back farther. His original garage was replaced several years ago, but the second one is pulling away from the house as the first one did. He also has a deep dip in his driveway.

The site has other problems believed to be related to debris and even water pipelines left under his property from the old Gerlach Barklow calendar factor that was destroyed by fire in 1995.

Mayor Bob O'Dekirk suggested that staff talk with Dixon some more before proceeding with the soil tests.

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