Jeannette City Council looks at garbage collection, blighted properties
By Kristie Linden
Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Before heading into an executive discussion to talk about personnel issues with the help of the state-appointed advisor, Jeannette City Council briefly talked about putting out a bid to outsource garbage collection and creating a program to actively recoup money spent on demolition of dilapidated structures throughout the city.
Mike Foreman, the local government specialist with the state Department of Community and Economic Development who helped the city navigate the Act 47 Early Intervention Program is continuing to work with the city to avoid Jeannette being taken over by the state. He was on hand Monday night to discuss personnel issues related to the city's ongoing financial issues.
Councilman Mark Levander asked Foreman to assist in putting together a bid package for the possible outsourcing of the city's garbage collection. Levander also asked Foreman to look into any potential grant money the city could obtain as part of that process.
Foreman also spoke up during a conversation about the demolition of various dilapidated structures throughout the city.
Diana Reitz, community development coordinator, opened four bids Monday night for the demolition of seven properties that are vacant and hazardous. The bids ranged from $59,600 to $88,400 to demolish buildings on East Gaskill Avenue, North Third Street, Scott Avenue, Division Street, Cuyler Avenue, North Fourth Street and North First Street.
There are four other properties on the list — on Lafferty Street, Chestnut Street, North Third Street and Lowry Avenue — that Reitz plans to put out to bid for demolition soon.
Levander asked Reitz if the city could create a program that would utilize the money meant for demolition of the four additional properties to offer potential buyers grant funds to build new structures or to improve the lots that are left vacant by demolition throughout town.
Levander said his concern was twofold. First, he is concerned about leaving holes throughout the city where buildings once stood and secondly he wants to make those properties taxable again as a way to recoup some of the funds spent on demolition.
Reitz said the properties that are demolished are always liened in an attempt by the city to get its money back. She said Levander's idea is worth exploring and could possibly work with the city's Redevelopment Authority to market such properties for sale.
Foreman encouraged city council to look at this idea in the context of a bigger picture.
“In respect of how to attack these issues (of blight) it's economic development. Look at what tools you have to address these issues that are like a cancer in the community you need to get rid of,” said Foreman. “It takes the effort of public and private partnerships. Communities are successful at it when they make that partnership. “It's something I can certainly help with as a resource and a facilitator. It can be an incremental approach, but it needs to be a concerted and focused effort.”
Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com or 724-838-5154.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Community Conversation gathers concerned Jeannette residents, collects ideas
- New Jeannette treasurer is hitting his stride
- Jeannette recreation director nearing retirement
- Jeannette EIT increases .35 percent