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War on blight in Harrisburg is picking up steam

Updated: Friday, March 21 2014, 07:05 PM CDT
Written by: Jesse Knutson (JKnutson@sbgtv.com)

The war on blight in the city of Harrisburg has picked up steam following the collapse of a church that forced two families out of their homes.
 
Days after the collapse, the Mayor of Harrisburg, Eric Papenfuse, held a press conference where he released a list of the 11 worst offenders of blight in the city.
 
Since then, many of those on the list have reached out to the city to remedy the situation.
 
“Many of them have come in and already gotten back on payment plans with the various district justices,” Papenfuse said. “They’ve been addressing those warrants, and that’s really what we want to see.”
 
Papenfuse said this is a great first step, but he recognizes that there is a long way to go, and many residents of Harrisburg agree, but are happy with the progress.
 
“As long as it gets done and gets safe so the kids can play out here again, I’m good with that.” Marilyn Green said.
 
Green lives across the street from the church, and said it has been an eyesore and a danger for at least 10 years, and she’s happy that the city is finally taking action to bring it down.
 
Papenfuse said they’re demolishing the church to prevent further damage, but also to get those displaced back in their homes.

“They need to return to a measure of normalcy. The city has been working very closely with them, we’ve provided them a place to live in the short term in city-owner property.”
 
Papenfuse said unfortunately there isn’t enough money to take care of all of the blight in the city, which is why they’re focusing on working with property owners to fix up their properties, and they’re encouraging all of the citizens of Harrisburg to report blight when they see it.

War on blight in Harrisburg is picking up steam


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