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Sharpsburg continues battle against blight

| Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Sharpsburg leaders continue dealing with blighted properties and code violations, a councilman told borough officials.

The borough is keeping detailed records of complaints on properties. A chart in the borough office outlines progress on individual complaints, councilman Lou DeLuca said.

The complainant is then notified when the problem has been solved.

“There's constant communication on both parties,” DeLuca said.

DeLuca said contacting the owners of four blighted properties has been difficult.

“I make telephone calls, the bank no longer exists,” DeLuca said.

Solicitor Mike Witherel said researching the properties online can come up with information that can be helpful. “It's amazing what you can find out,” Witherel said.

DeLuca also asked about concerns from some residents near blighted properties where utilities still appear to be turned on.

Witherel suggested contacting Duquesne Light to have the electricity disconnected.

Witherel also told council members the borough can continue pursuing citations even if the property is involved in bankruptcy or foreclosure.

“Being in bankruptcy doesn't protect you from criminal liability,” Witherel said.

DeLuca said he would review the properties in question with Witherel to make sure the borough follows the correct procedures.

“I want to make sure we do this legally,” DeLuca said.

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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