The remains of the Green Mill, three months after the restaurant burned down in late December 2008. The northwest corner of Columbus and Madison streets in Ottawa, Ill., still looks like this nearly four months after I snapped this photo.

The remains of the Green Mill, three months after the restaurant burned down in late December 2008. The northwest corner of Columbus and Madison streets in Ottawa, Ill., still looked like this last week, nearly four months after I snapped this photo.

Nearly seven months after the Green Mill restaurant burned down, the remaining debris is finally going to be cleaned up.

On April 8 — more than three months ago — the local newspaper, The Times, ran a story with the following headline: “Removal of Green Mill debris to begin soon.” Nothing in the story led readers to believe the headline was erroneous. Thus, if “soon” meant within four months, the newspaper was right on target.

Last Thursday, The Times reported the cleanup would begin Monday. The newspaper was right that time, though judging by how little debris was actually removed late Tuesday afternoon, it may not be right about the cleanup taking only “three to four days.” To be fair, it was an Ottawa building and zoning official who estimated the job would be finished in four days, not the newspaper.

No matter the source of the faulty information, I’m tired of reading about how this longstanding mess is going to be cleaned up. I’m even more tired of driving past that eyesore every time I head north on Route 23 toward Interstate 80. The Environmental Protection Agency classified the rubble as special waste rather than friable asbestos — which means it won’t cost an exorbitant amount to haul it away — so get that mess cleaned up already!

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