Blair allocates funds to demolish properties

County using $17,813 to raze three structures

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County is allocating $17,813 from a designated fund for demolition of three Altoona properties, to supplement funds and support provided by the city.

In 2017, commissioners voted to create what would become the Blair County Demolition Fund, with revenue generated by a $7.50 fee to record mortgages and deeds.

Based on guidelines adopted in January 2019, the county allowed that the fund could set aside up to $10,000 per property to address blight. At that time, the commissioners acknowledged that $10,000 might not be enough for demolition, but it could support the effort if local governments and/or redevelopment agencies provided funds, too.

On Monday night, Altoona City Council awarded contracts totaling $165,000 to demolish 13 blighted structures, including three that will be partly paid for with money from the county fund.

“This is a win for everybody,” Commissioners Chairman Bruce Erb said Tuesday when presented with the proposed demolition plans.

The three properties — 1530 Second St., 1902 10th St. and 1616 11th St. — are currently on the county’s repository list of unsold properties, with maintenance responsibilities assigned to the county’s highway department.

Based on documents presented to the county, Altoona has deemed these structures as unfit for human habitation, Melissa Gillin, administrative assistant in the county’s social services department, said Friday.

Removal of the structures will reduce the properties to vacant lots that stay in the county’s repository until purchased.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 814-946-7456.


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