Demolition of blighted properties across Cambria County begins

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The demolition of Blighted Property across Cambria County began today, May 20. (Redevelopment Authority of Cambria County)

EBENSBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Redevelopment Authority of Cambria County will be completing multiple demolitions of blighted structures throughout the County, according to a press release.

The demolitions are fully funded through Act 152, and they began today at the 700 block of Somerset Street in Johnstown.

It’s reported the Redevelopment Authority signed a contract with BAM Excavating of Northern Cambria regarding the demolition of six properties, the release said.

The properties are located in Brownstown Borough, Franklin Borough, Hastings Borough, the City of Johnstown and West Carroll Township at a cost of $41,200. 

“Teamwork continues to get things done,” Cambria County Commissioner Thomas C. Chernisky said.  “Everybody talks about blight, but Cambria County is taking action. This is not a silver bullet, but blight is being removed, and this is a win for local municipalities and the county.”

On Jan. 26, 2017, Cambria County Commissioners Chernisky, B.J. Smith and Mark Wissinger opted in to Act 152, which allows a County to collect a $15 fee on certain types of deeds and mortgages in order to be deposited into a designated demolition fund, the release said.

The law was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf Nov. 4, 2016. 

Cambria County was the second county in the Commonwealth to pass the resolution. 

Beginning March 1, 2017, the fees have been collected by the Recorder of Deeds, and the fees have created a fund in order to raze blighted properties throughout Cambria County.

The demolition funds are overseen by the Redevelopment Authority of Cambria County, according to the release. It is estimated that Act 152 will permit Cambria County to remove seven to 10 properties per year. 

Eligible properties must be owned by either a municipality, redevelopment authority, community development corporation or a public non-profit organization. Applications can be requested through the Redevelopment Authority of Cambria County.  

“When you take these buildings down, the community is better for it,” Cambria County Commissioner Scott Hunt said. “We are making positive strides in blight elimination throughout the county because of the Redevelopment Authority of Cambria County.”

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