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Sharpsburg seeks help demolishing old homes

| Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 9:11 p.m.
Jan Pakler | The Herald
This is the property remaining from a house fire on 2002 Middle Street in Sharpsburg.

Sharpsburg officials hope to get help from Allegheny County in removing blighted properties.

Council reviewed a list of properties in the borough that will be sent to the county as candidates for grant money that would be used for demolition.

At the top of the list is a home at 2002 Middle St., owned by the Fox Chapel Area School District. The home was included on the last list submitted to the county but was passed over for funding. Properties on Main and 15th streets also are on the list.

Originally, sites on Main Street were given top priority.

Councilman Tony Sacco said the residents on Middle Street deserved to have the property dealt with properly.

“These people need some relief,” Sacco said.

Councilman Matthew Rudzki, a member of the borough's blight committee, said the sites on Main Street are more visible to people who are in town and drive through the community daily.

“We tried to pick properties that were on Main Street that people pass on a day-to-day basis,” Rudzki said.

Council President Renee Procopio said the problem with the Middle Street property is that it doesn't make financial sense for someone to buy it.

“There are so many taxes and liens on that property that no one is willing to buy it, and they can't auction it with all these liens,” Procopio said.

Councilman Lou DeLuca said the important thing is getting deteriorating buildings torn down, and it doesn't matter which one comes first.

“We eliminate any properties that are bad. I don't care which ones we tear down,” DeLuca said.

Rudzki said after the meeting that the committee had reconsidered the ordering of the list and decided to move the Middle Street property to the top.

If any properties on the list are awarded funding for removal, the other properties can be resubmitted.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513 or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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