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Vernon Hills Home Demolished

Foundation has been filled with dirt.

The saga surrounding a home on Brook Hill Lane has finally come to a close.

Vernon Hills Village Administrator Mike Allison said the home, which was the subject of odor complaints over the years, was demolished down to its foundation. All that now remains at 80 Brook Hill Lane is a bare, dirt-covered lot.

"It closes the book on a long, sad story," said Building Commissioner Mike Atkinson.

According to a recent Daily Herald story, animal control workers removed about 130 cats and other animals from the home, owned by Lisa Sliwa, in 2004. Vernon Hills filed a lawsuit in October 2010 to inspect the home after receiving complaints from neighbors.

Atkinson said the village received a court order in the spring of 2011 to inspect the home.

"The odor was very strong — stronger than anything I've ever smelled," said Atkinson. "We had full gear on, including respirators, and we could still smell it."

The village brought in contractors to assess whether the home could be restored. Atkinson said the wood throughout the house was saturated with cat urine and feces.

"We realized the house was not salvageable," said Atkinson.

The village got the OK on June 1 to tear down the home, Atkinson said, and the demolition process started June 4.

What will happen to the property next is unknown. Allison said the property is in foreclosure.

Atkinson said the village spent $18,635 on the demolition and is seeking repayment of that money. Allison added that the village will have to maintain the vacant property.

"If you owned it and there's no house, it's doubtful you'll come over and mow the lawn," said Allison.

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