Indiana House committee endorses bill advanced by Rep. Harris to clean up abandoned sites in Gary

January 24, 2018 Earl Harris Jr.

INDIANAPOLIS – The House Environmental Affairs Committee today unanimously passed a bill authored by State Representative Earl Harris, Jr. (D-East Chicago) that would assist local efforts to clean up uninhabitable sites in Gary.

House Bill 1318 would allow Gary to establish a demolition debris site within its city limits.

“The bill is proposing that only recyclable items, such as wood, bricks, etc., are put into the site,” Rep. Harris commented. “That means the site will not be a dump, or landfill. All of the toxic items from the uninhabitable sites will be disposed of outside of city limits in a proper fashion.”

Harris said the bill could have a substantial economic impact on Gary.

“There are 12,000 houses in Gary that are considered uninhabitable,” Rep. Harris said. “These eyesores create safety issues, such as squatters and drug use.

“The city of Gary already has obtained a grant to help demolish these homes. Having a site where recyclable items can be placed within city limits would help streamline the process of removing these homes, and save the city the cost of transporting the materials out of the county,” Harris concluded.