A former mental health facility in Tinley Park had been vacant for years and now neighbors are calling for something to be done about the abandoned site.
Time has not been kind to the Tinley Park Mental Health Center and residents say it’s become an eyesore and a health hazard.
“The state left this and just walked away,” said resident Nancy O’Connor.
O’Connor lives less than a mile from the state-run facility, which closed in 2012.
“No one should have to look at this and no one should feel like they are in danger,” she said.
That danger is said to be coming from hazardous materials left behind—many of the buildings on the 257-acre site are also not secure.
A YouTube video taken and posted to the social media platform last year shows “a catastrophe waiting to happen.”
It was estimated that to clean up the asbestos, mercury and underground storage tanks would cost more than $12 million but that price likely went up.
“We want to see site cleaned up, it is environmentally not sound and eyesore,” said village manager David Niemeyer.
The property is owned by the state and the village of Tinley Park was negotiating to buy it —and there was talk of a developer building a race track and casino but those talks with the state have since stalled.
O’Conner says she’s very upset by the current situation and is not giving up. That is why she says she contacted the EPA and other government bodies to demand action.
“It is not fair, the state created this problem, the state needs to clean this up,” she said.
The village is in contact with the governor’s office and they’re hoping he will step in and move things along when it comes to the selling and redeveloping the land.