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Commercial, industrial blight added to review on first reading

City Council passed, on first reading, an amendment to the codified ordinances on blighted properties to add commercial and industrial blight.

If approved in two weeks, after 20 days after that vote, commercial and industrial blight can be added to the city Redevelopment Authority purview, according to Councilman Dave Banks, chair of the economic revitalization committee, which took up the vote earlier.

The blighted property review board has been asked to add commercial and industrial properties to review, said Pat Marty, committee chair.

These properties are not just an eyesore they hurt their marketability and neighboring properties, said Council President Randall J. Allison.

Joseph Gerardi, city codes administrator, said the department will do what council decides, however, he cautioned the funding must be available for these properties to be purchased and redeveloped.

Councilwoman Liz Miele said funding should be pursued.

One avenue might be through Community Development Block Grants, said Skip Memmi, director of city community and economic development.

The city has block grants available for this purpose amounting to $300,000. he said.

Council takes up the final vote on the issue in two weeks.

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