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Jeannette to buy 8 more properties in blight fight

Renatta Signorini
| Thursday, June 15, 2017, 1:24 p.m.

Eight tax-delinquent properties will be purchased by Jeannette in the city's ongoing large-scale demolition project.

Council authorized the acquisitions this week, adding them to the 16 the city has purchased since November.

“Many of these just went in (the repository) on the last two weeks,” said city manager Michael Nestico.

Jeannette officials embarked on the project in November in an effort to reduce blight. Council then OK'd the allocation of $250,000 for acquisition and demolition from the city's reserve account created with $4 million from the February 2015 sale of the city's sewer system to the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County.

Costs for each property average about $1,200.

None of the 16 already purchased have been demolished. Nestico said many of them were turned over to the Neighborhood Partnership Program, which will handle that part of the work. The NPP is a tax-credit program through the state Department of Community and Economic Development that is led by Westmoreland Community Action.

The properties will be marketed and sold by the city's redevelopment authority with both entities sharing half the proceeds under an agreement council approved this week.

Structures on the parcels purchased this week will be demolished, said Nestico, who photographed each one. Some could turn into side lots for neighboring property owners.

“Each one of these properties is currently unowned and being unattended,” he said. “They will continue to simple rot away ... unless someone comes forward.”

The properties are on:

• Bullitt Avenue.

• South Third Street.

• North Third Street — “That would be an immediate demo,” Nestico said.

• Good Street.

• Two on Western Avenue — “These two are both very distressed properties, a lot of overgrowth, ivy,” he said.

• North Second Street.

• Chambers Avenue.

The city is seeking help from residents to clear out blight. Council approved setting aside $10,000 from the $250,000 allocation to create a grant program that would allow property owners in good standing to apply for a $2,000 grant toward demolition of their property.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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