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Board reviews 2 blighted residences, 1 vacant residence

Two blighted residential properties and one vacant property were reviewed recently by the Williamsport blighted properties review board.

Certified letters of blight will be going to owners of properties at 1524-26 Memorial Ave. and 513 Seventh Ave., said Joe Gerardi, city codes administrator.

The Memorial Avenue residence was fire damaged and condemned for several years. Codes enforcement reposted it as condemned and violation notices were given while codes awaited the board’s decision to send the official blight certification letter out.

“Taxes are paid up to date on the property,” Gerardi said.

A question was asked by board member Jennifer Wilson. She wondered whether the matter would move to the redevelopment authority. Gerardi told her the certified letter must go out, the building be posted, and if no hearing is requested or scheduled, he can move forward with the process toward the proper city committees and redevelopment authority taking further action.

The Seventh Avenue property has structure deficiencies such as windows, paint, roof and trimming. The taxes are paid on the property, however, the water meter was pulled and there is no water or services to the building, Gerardi said.

The board authorized Gerardi to send the certified blight letter to the property owner.

A third property at 2111 Cummings St., is not considered to be blighted but rather is vacant. Gerardi said he has discussed the property condition with Mayor Derek Slaughter and the building does not fit the description of blighted.

The utilities are hooked up and the taxes are being paid, Gerardi said. The owner owns a property next to it and the situation remains under city investigation.

A proposed ordinance regulating vacancies remains in development, Gerardi said.

“We do not want to look at something unless your office looked at it in terms of blight,” said Patrick Marty, board chairman, regarding the vacancy versus blight issue that frequently comes before the board.

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