| Neighborhoods

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Committee to advise Munhall on vacant properties

Daily Photo Galleries

McKeesport Photo Galleries

Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, 4:46 a.m.

A committee is being formed in Munhall to address vacant properties.

“It's not an official committee of the borough that can take action, but it would be a recommending committee,” council president Dan Lloyd explained on Wednesday.

Borough manager Robert Kallen said the committee's purpose would be to review properties and determine which ones might be salvageable, which ones may need to be demolished and which ones could be marketed.

Borough code enforcement officer Dave Cannon said Munhall has at least 200 vacant properties.

“Anything's better than doing nothing,” Cannon said about the committee. “There are so many different avenues you could go. Each property has to be looked at to see what's the best scenario of which way to go. I don't think there's one way you could do it for all properties.”

Mayor Raymond Bodnar, the Steel Valley Council of Governments president, said the new committee could work with Steel Valley COG and its land bank proposal, along with other vacant property efforts.

A land bank is a public authority that works to transform vacant, abandoned or tax-foreclosed properties with the hopes of spurring redevelopment and productive use of those areas.

“I think it's a great program,” Bodnar said. “If everybody cooperates we can get things done and take care of some of the problems. To me, it's a great thing.”

“We're going to try to work with COG on certain aspects of this,” Lloyd said. “Certain aspects are going to be really (with) private markets ... In other instances it may make sense to run certain property through a land bank.”

Other tools available to deal with vacant properties include sheriff sales, a conservatorship program, Allegheny County's Vacant Property Recovery Program, or owner donations of property to the borough.

“It's a complicated and tedious process to acquire property, even when it's vacant and blighted,” Lloyd said.

Kallen said much work needs to be done before the committee would be finalized, which he projects to be in October.

“We don't have any names yet. We don't even have a process of (property) identifications,” Kallen said.

The proposed committee was announced earlier this month at a council meeting.

Lloyd said the idea came about after discussions with attorneys, investors and borough officials earlier this year.

He mentioned Munhall should not be in the real estate business, but should help facilitate solutions to property issues.

“We got to save our housing and we want to clean up our neighborhood,” he said. “It's not just us (officials). It has to be everybody.”

Lloyd said he wants to organize a meeting next week regarding the committee, and information will be posted on

Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read McKeesport

  1. West Mifflin not getting Verizon FiOS anytime soon
  2. Firearm owners organization supports gun restriction lawsuits
  3. McKeesport groups reach out with holiday meals
  4. Interest strong in redeveloping former Long Run Children’s Learning Center in White Oak
  5. McKeesport Area Ministerium honors Matuch, Jones for community service
  6. North Versailles Township marks return of police K-9 unit
  7. Mon Valley service groups, volunteers prepare early Thanksgiving meals
  8. N. Versailles commissioners likely to hold line on taxes
  9. Tractor-trailer overturns, ruptures gas line in West Mifflin
  10. Audit reveals slight surplus in Clairton school budget
  11. Report shows Elizabeth Forward stayed within budget
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.