News

"Worst of the Worst" takes on blight in Pottsville

Written by Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | Jan 27, 2014 4:00 AM

(Pottsville) -- The city of Pottsville in Scyulkill County is working to stop the spread of blight.

Wrecking_ball.jpg

Photo by Paul Goyette

Through the Worst of the Worst program, the city is pushing demolition of some poorly maintained buildings with unpaid taxes.

Pottsville City Administrator Thomas Palamar says it used a dozen criteria to figure out what should be knocked down first - things like broken windows and trash in the yard.

One is already getting taken apart bit by bit, while six others are next in line.

"Long term, we're hoping that we can save some of these properties. Ultimately, if they aren't cared for down the road, they would be demolished, they would have to be off of our tax rolls. So we're trying to save neighborhoods, save homes," says Palamar.

"Get them into the hands of neighbors that they can maybe expand greenspace, or build a garage, or possibly build a home. So it could be something as very simple as making sure a neighbor takes the property."

Palamar says the city works with property owners before resorting to demolition, and notifies neighbors about any developments.

He says the program is funded by a state grant and property owners are billed for the demolition.

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