ShareThis Page
Editorials

Alle-Kiski editorial: Two different approaches to blight

| Thursday, March 1, 2018, 8:55 p.m.
Warning sign at 948 Ninth Ave. house in Brackenridge.
Chuck Biedka | Tribune-Review
Warning sign at 948 Ninth Ave. house in Brackenridge.
Duplex on Siberian Avenue in Leechburg that is set to be razed.
Joyce Hanz | For the Tribune-Review
Duplex on Siberian Avenue in Leechburg that is set to be razed.
This house at 137 Siberian Ave., Leechburg is set to be razed.
Joyce Hanz | For the Tribune-Review
This house at 137 Siberian Ave., Leechburg is set to be razed.

Don't blame Brackenridge officials if they're a bit envious of their Leechburg counterparts as both grapple with blighted, abandoned properties. Their contrasting situations illustrate the sort of obstacles that local officials throughout the Alle-Kiski Valley can face in dealing with vacant buildings that often present public-safety hazards and block productive redevelopment.

In Brackenridge, officials hope the owner of a vacant Ninth Avenue apartment house, already charged with building-code violations, will pay to repair or demolish it after its second foundation collapse in two years. Posted with a warning sign and surrounded by yellow caution tape, the structure clearly is a hazard. Thus, borough officials are wise to seek county, state and federal money through the Allegheny Valley North Council of Governments to demolish the building — in case its owner doesn't do the right thing and the borough has to take it over.

In Leechburg, by contrast, officials have a clear path for dealing with two blighted Siberian Avenue buildings: Armstrong County's new Blight Abatement Program, which has funding in place. The county will field demolition proposals; Leechburg will contract and initially pay for that work, then be reimbursed by the county.

The larger issue is why such blight-reduction contrasts between communities exist at all. That's an issue that would be addressed best by changes to state law to more effectively hold owners accountable for cleaning up their blighted properties — so local government wouldn't have to.

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.

click me