Tube City Community Media Inc. is seeking freelance writers to help cover city council, news and feature stories in McKeesport, Duquesne, White Oak and the neighboring communities. High school and college students seeking work experience are encouraged to apply; we are willing to work with students who need credit toward class assignments. Please send cover letter, resume, two writing samples and the name of a reference (an employer, supervisor, teacher, etc. -- not a relative) to tubecitytiger@gmail.com.

To place your ad, email tubecitytiger@gmail.com.
Ads start at $1 per day, minimum seven days.

More Vacant Houses Face Wrecking Crews

By Jason Togyer
The Tube City Almanac
April 12, 2022
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Another 200 to 250 vacant homes in McKeesport will face the wrecking ball soon, Mayor Michael Cherepko has announced.

City council this month awarded a $174,600 contract to Betters Company Inc. of Lincoln Borough to demolish 30 structures under Phase 6 of the “McKeesport Rising” program, and the mayor promised that contracts on 100 to 110 houses are expected at the May and June meetings.

Betters was the lowest responsible bidder, officials said.

The city’s Seventh Ward is receiving particular attention, Cherepko said.

“An area we’re really going to hit hard is around Sumac and Grover” avenues, he said. Houses on Garbett, Stewart, Palmgreen, Jenny Lind, Bailie and Beaver streets are being targeted as well, Cherepko said.

“I can’t begin to tell you the amount of energy and thought that goes into this,” he said. “It comes down to trying to make the living conditions much better for residents in all parts of the city. We go into a street sometimes, and if we see six houses that need to come down we try to take down the houses next to homes that people are living in.”

Funding is coming from a mix of the city’s general fund, the proceeds from the sale of the sewer authority’s assets, and other grant monies, officials said.

“We’re trying to utilize all of our resources to tackle this blight,” Cherepko said. “To the public, please be patient — if you’re not sure if (a) house is on the list, then call our office.”

Although the city is trying to work methodically to tackle abandoned houses, he said, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” and structures that have been the focus of complaints from neighbors do move higher on the priority list.

Demolition also continues in the Downtown business district, Cherepko said, with the help of state tax-credit funding through a Neighborhood Assistance Program.

“Thank you to Sen. (Jim) Brewster for his support, and Rep. (Austin) Davis as well, for securing the state funding,” the mayor said. “Two years ago, your Downtown area was not looking very good. Soon, your Downtown area is going to have little or no blight.”

Homes to be demolished under the Betters contract include:

208 Atlantic Ave.
408 Atlantic Ave.
408 1/2 Atlantic Ave.
1615 Bailie Ave.
916 Bellview St.
812 Brisbane Alley
1617 Colfax St.
1621 Colfax St.
2300 Cronemeyer Ave.
706 Coursin St.
708 Coursin St.
709 Coursin St.
712 Coursin St.
715 Coursin St.
717 Coursin St.
813 Evans Ave.
609 Enterprise St.
811 Enterprise St.
726 Fairview Ave.
807 Park St.
815 Park St.
918 Park St.
505 Romine Ave.
708 Shaw Ave.
824 Soles St.
1907 Soles St. (Rectory)
1800 Soles St.
703 Verner Alley
705 Verner Alley
707 Verner Alley

Originally published April 12, 2022.

In other news:
"Dura-Bond Purchases F…" || "LaRosa Club Plans Sum…"