Yakima city officials continue to work to close abandoned buildings to stop people from illegally entering the structures. And a new report from City Codes Manager Joe Caruso shows the program is working. Caruso says in 2015 they had reports of people in abandoned buildings 5 to 8 times a week. Now it's 1 to 2 reports every couple of months. "We have a tool in our municipal code that if the city shuts a building down and you're inside or even on the property you can be charged with a gross misdemeanor and you can go to jail for 365 days."
Caruso says the city worked with property owners, insurance companies and others to close a majority of the 119 abandoned buildings that were counted in 2015. Caruso will release the new number on Wednesday. And the program continues Today to close all abandoned buildings in the city of Yakima.