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Charleroi prepares to demolish buildings

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Friday, March 15, 2013, 1:31 a.m.
 

Charleroi Borough Council is working ahead on spring cleaning – from preparing properties for demolition to eliminating outdated ordinances.

Council voted Thursday to release the tax claims on 13 vacant properties, the first action required for demolition.

“This just starts the process to look at demolition of property,” council President Mark Alterici said.

The properties listed are: 811-811½ Sixth St., 1015 Lincoln Ave., 213 Lincoln Ave., 807 Prospect Ave., 527 Washington Ave., 516 Washington Ave., 735 Fallowfield Ave., 203-203½ Shady Ave., 301-303 McKean Ave., 707 Third St., 717 Fallowfield Ave., 111 Lincoln Ave., and 411 11th St.

Council then voted to allow demolition of property at 301 to 303 McKean Ave.

Council approved codification changes to the borough's book of ordinances.

Solicitor Mike Lucas said the action will organize and update the code book, along with removing laws that are no longer applicable or relevant.

Codification of ordinances provides both local governments and citizens with current, enforceable laws, in a way that makes the code easy to use and reference.

Lucas and Alterici mentioned such ordinances as one forbidding the borough engineer from working for other entities (the borough now uses an engineering firm) and another declaring borough meetings to occur 5 p.m. Tuesday (council now meets 6 p.m. the second Thursday of each month.) Lucas said the last codification occurred in the 1990s.

Revival meeting

Borough Manager Donn Henderson announced the first meeting of the “Revive 2016” redevelopment group.

Henderson said the super committee will meet 3:30 p.m. Monday at the borough building. The group will include council members and business owners.

Mon Valley Progress Council executive director Joe Kirk will attend the meeting in an advisory role, Henderson said.

“Pittsburgh History & Landmarks is going to be here to discuss the advantages of being a historic district, and there are some significant tax credits you can get for reviving buildings,” Henderson told council.

“We are also an enterprise zone, which is another set of tax credits available to you if you invest downtown.”

A five-year tax abatement will be available for new owners who want to improve their property without it being immediately reassessed by the county.

“It's as much about engaging the community as it is about money,” Henderson said.

“We want to identify and address the main problems, whether real or perceived. This is about a full-scale revitalization plan, not just downtown, not just residential, but everyone.”

In other action, council:

• Committed $71,500 for borough building restoration, including elevator installation.

• Agreed to hire up to four temporary summer workers for the street department at $10 per hour. Charleroi residents and Charleroi Area High School students will receive hiring priority.

• Agreed to advertise for a part-time police officer who would have potential to become a full-time officer.

Rick Bruni Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at rbruni@tribweb.com or 724-684-2635.

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