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Altoona to form Blight Task Force

The City of Altoona is calling for applicants for a Blight Task Force to develop new strategies for solving the city’s chronic problem of building and neighborhood deterioration.

“(The task force) will be comprised of individuals from local organizations, community associations, the business community and local residents,” stated a news release from Mayor Matt Pacifico.

The deadline to apply is Sept. 8.

Applications and a listing of member responsibilities can be found at www.altoonapa.gov.

For more information, contact Pacifico’s legislative aide Stephanie Burgess at sburgess@altoonapa.gov or 949-2476.

The task force initiative derives from work that has been done with the help of a $32,400 anti-blight grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development awarded in January, according to Pacifico.

That grant was designed to pay for an early intervention program, a consultant who will develop a blight action plan, creation of a land bank and technical assistance to help the codes department work more effectively, according to Pacifico.

The consultant believes creating the task force will benefit the city, he said.

“I think this will be a help to get as many people involved as possible,” said Councilman Dave Butterbaugh.

A key task could be finding money that would complement the Community Development Block Grant funds the city uses for its blighted property demolition program, Butterbaugh said.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.

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