Duluth City Council Approves Funding to Demolish Abandoned Homes

By KBJR News 1

July 2, 2013 Updated Jul 2, 2013 at 10:00 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Duluth City Council is making way for funding that would help demolish abandoned homes and buildings in the area.

These neglected structures look bad and can pose a danger for those living in those neighborhoods.

Duluth's Director of Planning and Construction Services, Keith Hamre, says blighted properties can become attractive to people looking to do more damage or to find a place to party.

They tend to have a negative influence on property values as well.

"It tends to be a collection point for undesirable things, whether it's rodents, whether it's grass that's too tall, whether it's trash it's broken windows, could be nefarious activities, there could be criminal activities, things that just are not positive for the neighborhood or the community," says Hamre.

Some residents feel that old abandoned buildings such as these are taking up unnecessary space that could be put to better use.

"Properties maintain values, if no one is using it, it's creating a blight on the community, why not take it, why not get rid of it," says Chris Blommel, UWS Student.

Many of these blighted properties have been damaged or suffered from fires.

Some have been abandoned due to inability to make mortgage payments.

"We do have standards in town that need to be adhered to and if they're not then they are taking down the property values of everyone in the city and everyone in the neighborhood as well as posing a hazard, public safety and health hazards," says Sharla Gardner, Duluth City Councilor.

Monday night's resolution, approved in a unanimous vote, authorizes payment for the demolition of ten blighted structures.

Elsa Robins
erobins@kbjr.com

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