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31Jul

Blight Task Force Taking Shape in Lackawanna County

A task force to target blight in Lackawanna County is taking shape and expected to meet next month for the first time.

The task force’s creation follows four public meetings held this spring as part of a burgeoning Blight to Bright Program administered by the Lackawanna County Land Bank in partnership with NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania. Attendees of those meetings offered input on blight in various communities to help shape the task force’s work, which includes drafting a report to be released later this year on local blight conditions and possible remedies.

Officials overseeing the program compiled the names of between 12 and 15 volunteers who expressed interest in serving on the task force during those initial public meetings. They’re now in the process of reaching out to those people to confirm their interest, county Economic Development Director George Kelly said.

The task force is likely to be comprised of no more than 20 individuals, meaning there are still openings for residents or public officials interested in serving, Kelly said.

Once finalized, the group likely will meet for the first time in late August followed by monthly meetings in September, October and November, NeighborWorks Community Revitalization Manager Todd Pousley said. The report, which should provide an assessment of blight in Lackawanna County and include blight-fighting strategies, is expected to be released and discussed publicly during the November meeting, Kelly said.

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