Stories this photo appears in:
TTW Staff Report After years of neglect and deterioration, the Fairmont community – an unincorporated area of Will County between Lockport and Joliet with roughly 2500 mostly minority residents – is finally in the spotlight. Unlike a city or village, Fairmont does not have direct municipal oversight, and is under the governance of Lockport Township and Will County. Many unincorporated areas are absorbed into their neighboring municipalities, which then provide the infrastructure needed for health, safety and growth. But Fairmont has remained on the edge, too low-income to attract annexation. Lacking basic infrastructure such as sidewalks, street lights, curbs, and garbage pickup, and struggling with the decline of older properties, loss of jobs in the area and isolation, all made it easier for Fairmont to fall into disrepair, while communities around Fairmont were expanding or rebuilding. The increase in vacant homes attracted crime, and helped grow the perception of Fairmont as unsafe, though the area is mainly populated by long-time residents who feel that most crime is coming in from outside the neighborhood.