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One of the common themes of Duquesne City Council meetings is the governing body’s continued attempt to do something about neglected properties–buildings as well as vacant land—but they admit that process is slow.
And practically every meeting, a resident has a tale of how they take pride in their homes, but are saddled with an eye sore–or four–on their street.
At council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Scott Adams attempted to lessen fears by saying that the city hopes to hire an ordinance officer to cite property owners who chose to ignore their properties when it comes to overgrown conditions and general “filth.”
Council also discussed diverting $44,000 from a Duquesne Place Playground project to the demolition of blighted properties. There was also talk of another grant in which $125,000 would be used for street paving, and $51,000 earmarked to clear lots.
Councilwoman Elaine Washington reported on the uneasy realization that the city must look at removing historic district titles from properties that need to be demolished.
City leaders continue to embark on plans that could level some land and make it affordable for neighbors to purchase. But that process has been slow.
“It takes time, money and resources,” said Adams when asked about a property in the 700 block of Mifflin Street. He also said that ideally, public works look for “conjoined” properties, or a grouping of close buildings that can be razed.
Interim City Manager George Newsome later answered a related question about the city hiring a contractor to trap pests such as racoons and skunks. The long-time trapper who served Duquesne and other nearby communities retired some time ago.
Newsome noted that while city staffers had interviewed “about seven” potential subcontractors, including single individuals, “no one has been contracted yet.”
Tom Leturgey is a freelance writer based in Pittsburgh and the editor of KSWA Digest, the online news and features home of the Keystone State Wrestling Alliance. His work also appears in The Valley Mirror and other publications.
Originally published November 04, 2022.