By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Last year’s tragic building collapse on Market Street was on the minds of city council members as they grilled a top city official about how quickly the city can tear down vacant buildings in danger of collapse.

They’re called IDs — Imminently Dangerous Buildings — and L&I Commissioner Carlton Williams told council members at a budget hearing that the city currently has about 600 of them. Williams said that number rarely changes, since as soon as some are torn down, new ones are added to the list.

“It’s not ‘600 and we’re done, the city is now safe.’ It’s constant,” Williams said. “So we’re constantly inspecting buildings, and unsafe buildings get upgraded from unsafe to Imminently Dangerous. Especially after the weather conditions that we had this past winter season: those cause vacant properties to deteriorate even faster.”

Williams said the mayor’s proposed budget will allow him to hire 27 new inspectors to speed up the tearing down of the dangerous buildings.

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