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08May

Waynesboro council seeks solution for blighted property woes

By Jennifer Fitch, Herald Mail

Published: May 3, 2017

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Waynesboro officials publicly shared information Wednesday night about their efforts to address blight in the community.

“We’re trying to drive some discussion in the commonwealth and be noisy,” Borough Manager Jason Stains said of joining a statewide blight task force.

Waynesboro has proposed tacking a $15 fee onto building permits to aid in its ongoing fight against buildings and properties that present health and safety hazards for neighbors.

It currently pulls money from the general fund to address those properties.

Council President C. Harold Mumma said the municipality struggles to recoup money from liens placed on dilapidated properties. He said it can be an expensive endeavor to get buildings repaired by their owners or razed.

Through the task force, the borough is petitioning the state to establish a method of providing financial assistance for cleanup efforts.

Local taxpayers are footing the bill for buildings that are falling down or present community health issues from what is inside them.

“We’re trying to be more aggressive with our code-enforcement actions for blighted properties,” Stains said.

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