Updated figures show that city blighted properties are dropping

The city has fewer blighted properties and continues to warn and cite property owners who don’t comply with corrective action required under the property maintenance code, the city’s top codes enforcer said Tuesday.

“We started with 188 blighted properties on a list we put together six years ago and are down to 65 properties that are in violation of one or more building codes,” city Codes Administrator Joseph Gerardi said during Tuesday’s blighted properties review board meeting.

According to Gerardi, many of the property owners are complying when they receive notice by letter and get work done or sell the properties, and a few are applying for demolition permits before City Council.

A letter describing the corrective action necessary is mailed out and gives the owner 30 days to begin to make repairs, he said.

However, should violations be ignored and not fixed, codes issues citations carrying potential fines of between $100 to $1,000 for each code violation, Gerardi said.

The property owner can plead guilty and pay the fine or not guilty and take it before a district judge to determine the penalty amount, he said.

The next round of citations won’t be mailed until September, giving owners of blighted properties the spring and summer to make necessary repairs.