The city of Joliet is about to become the owner of a fire-damaged house acquired for the strategic purpose of forcing out registered sex offenders who live a block away.
The Joliet City Council on Tuesday approved the acquisition of the unoccupied house at 1000 N. Center St. at a price of $124,000.
City officials, siding with Cunningham neighborhood residents alarmed about an apartment house that has been converted to living quarters for a half-dozen registered sex offenders, say they intend to build a park on the corner lot at Center and Moran streets.
They are banking on a state law that bars registered sex offenders from being within 500 feet of a public park.
NewDay Apartments, which owns the apartment building, contends the law does not apply to all sex offenders, and the park won’t stop them from moving tenants into the building. Lake Zurich-based NewDay finds residences for sex offenders, who face multiple restrictions on where they can live.