Dauphin Co. commissioners to deal with blight problem

Blight can reduce property values in a neighborhood and makes some homes very tough to sell. Now Dauphin County commissioners have a plan to help deal with the problem.

For Vivian Martinez, watering her flowers on her front porch is part of her daily routine, but next door serves as a daily reminder that blight is more than just an eye sore for her.

“I open the window and the smell is awful. I have health issues with my asthma; that is not good because of the mold and smell.” Martinez is tired of being tired of the problems. “I just home something gets done about this quick.”

Help may soon be on the way. State law allows Dauphin County commissioners to create a land bank designed to buy, restore or demolish rundown properties.

That's good news for landlord Michael Gregory, who has complained to the county and city for years about the dangers of abandoned properties.

An appointed board will oversee the effort that will focus on removing blight in 10 municipalities. Many of the properties will be in tax foreclosure. County commissioners
say it will get properties back on tax rolls and good people back in good neighborhoods.

Gregory hopes the effort will make improvements across the board.

“There is no parking; knock these three houses down, and at least there is a place for these folks to park and not have to park two blocks down the road.”

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