Dozens of vacant Tarentum buildings targeted for demolition |
Valley News Dispatch

Dozens of vacant Tarentum buildings targeted for demolition

Brian C. Rittmeyer
Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
This house at 304 W. 8th Ave. tops Tarentum’s demolition list. Photographed on Friday, May 17, 2019.
Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
A collapse at the rear side of 304 W. 8th Ave. in Tarentum on Friday, May 17, 2019.
Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
Vegetation overwhelms the front of a house at 443 E. 7th Ave. in Tarentum on Friday, May 17, 2019. It is on a list of properties the borough plans to demolish beginning this year.
Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
A violation notice is affixed to the front door of 443 E. 7th Ave. in Tarentum on Friday, May 17, 2019.

Nearly three dozen vacant Tarentum buildings have been marked for demolition.

The borough would like to tear down at least a dozen this year. Those buildings either have partially collapsed or are close to a neighboring building, code enforcement officer Anthony Bruni said.

How many get taken down this year will depend on the cost.

The borough has $150,000 to spend, he said.

“We are currently doing the research on owners of record through the county tax records, and then we will send out the required notification of violation letters to each,” Bruni said. “Once I have made the order of condemnation, we then can have the asbestos testing completed on each property. We will then begin getting bids from demolition contractors.”

Allegheny County requires testing for asbestos, Bruni said.

The entire process will take a few months.

“We’re moving along as fast as we can,” Borough Manager Mike Nestico said. “It’s a slow process. There’s a lot of work involved.”

Issues with the identified properties, now numbering 30, include partial collapses, deteriorating foundations, flood damage and potential fire risks, according to the borough.

Most of the properties have delinquent property taxes.

A property at 108 W. Seventh Ave. has been owned by the borough since 2013, according to Allegheny County real estate records. It’s next to the new Family Dollar store, and the borough acquired it as part of that project. Nestico said it is structurally sound and is at the bottom of the list.

“It will be demolished eventually as part of future possible commercial development,” Bruni said.

Although not all can be demolished this year, the borough is completing the administrative work on all of them in case a contractor is able to tear down more than the 10 to 12 requested within the bid price.

Nestico said the borough will put out two or three bid packages, each with four to five properties.

“We will have all the paperwork done ahead of time, so there will be minimal delay if additional properties can be added to our target list,” Bruni said.

When demolitions will start won’t be known until at least early summer, he said.

Buildings that don’t get demolished this year will stay on the list for 2020.

“We are hoping that council is able to budget demolition money for 2020 and 2021 as well, so that we can see this through and have a positive impact on the community,” Bruni said.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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