Elk County town creates fund to combat blight

Local News

RIDGWAY, ELK COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– Ridgway wants to improve its neighborhoods by fixing up blighted properties.

Ridgway Borough Council established a Blight to Bright Fund that raises money to renovate or tear down blighted houses.

Code Enforcement Officer Michael Handley said there are around 40 blighted structures identified in Ridgway.

One of those belongs to Maryann Stolburg’s brother.

He bought a blighted house on South Street during a tax sale, but because he fell into bad health, it’s sat here in need of repair.

“It needs a new roof, it just needs a lot of things,” Stolburg said.

Now they may get the help they need.

“It would be wonderful because it’s pretty much the only house on the street that needs help,” Stolburg said. “It needs a lot of work and it needs revitalized.”

Handley said this fund will receive some money from property maintenance citations, but will mostly rely on donations.

“We’re starting to lose grants and state funding because of the low population so we sort of have to take care of ourselves,” Handley said.

He said he hopes the landowners and community members will help out to bring Ridgway back to the town it used to be.

“What I’m trying to do, and our whole borough, we’re trying to instill pride back into the community, and that’s something we’ve lost over the years,” Handley said.

A public list of all the blighted properties will become available at the borough office.

You can make donations at the borough office to the Ridgway Blight to Bright Fund.

All donations will be 100% tax deductible.

Handley also hopes to create a rental registration in order to provide more inspections of rental properties and prevent future blight.

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