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Duquesne Seeks Grants for Demo, Trail Work

By Tom Leturgey
The Tube City Almanac
March 14, 2024
Posted in: Duquesne News

Duquesne will seek grants to fund demolition of dangerous abandoned buildings and other improvement projects.

At this month’s council meeting, Councilwoman Denise Brownfield discussed the possibility of using Gaming Economic Development Tourism funds to demolish dangerous properties in the city. Duquesne recently was awarded $75,000 for a demolition project that’s estimated to cost $285,000.

Officials are to prioritize which properties among the 17 listed should be razed first. In Brownfield’s report, it was recommended that the city seek bids to demolish 32, 33 and 125 on South Seventh Street, as well as 733 Klere St., 138 and 151 Auriles St., and add 11 to 31 South 7th Street as alternatives.

Sylvia Celeste Deaderick of PA Home Matters Duquesne, LLC had protested that owners hadn’t been notified that properties had been targeted for demolition. Solicitor Myron Sainovich countered that the city had posted properties and sent correspondence to the last known address of property owners.

Deaderick said one of the properties she represents is 31 S. 7th St.

That address is part of a larger strip of apartments and townhomes stretching from 13 to 31. Allegheny County records show that PA Home Matters Duquesne, LLC purchased that strip of properties in July 2020 for $15,000.

Deaderick said the company has plans to renovate them. She said that work was to begin “in the spring.”

Mayor R. Scott Adams said, “that should be soon then.”

City Engineer Laura Branthoover of Glenn Engineering & Associates said that 11 S. 7th and 31 S. 7th, both of which are owned by PA Home Matters Duquesne, LLC, most likely wouldn’t be part of the initial $75,000 worth of demolition plans.

Council unanimously moved to advertise a Base Contract to demolish the previously mentioned properties, as well as 11 through 31 S. 7th St. as part of an alternate bid.

Officials also moved to advertise a contract to demolish 16, 18, 28, 30, 35, 119 and 121 S. Seventh Street through a $75,000 federal grant from the Community Development Block Grant program.

County real estate records show that most of the properties in question are owned by corporate entities, most of which have not kept up with their annual taxes. City leaders want to be able to level the land and market it to developers who can repurpose the properties for new uses.

Council also voted unanimously passed a motion for Glenn Engineering to submit a grant application to the state’s COVID-19 ARPA Local Fiscal Recovery Funding program in the amount of $300,000 earmarked to purchase the recreation center and another estimated $500,000 with no match for Polish Hill Park Renovations.

After some discussion, council unanimously moved to authorize Glenn Engineering to submit a $35,000 grant application to the state’s WalkWorks program for a grant to study the development of a walking and bike trail in the area of Fifth and Priscilla avenues.

City officials unanimously passed a motion to authorize Glenn Engineering to submit a separate grant application to the state’s Greenways, Trails & Recreation Program for the possible trail near Fifth and Priscilla.

Updates on the various grants will be forthcoming in future meetings, officials said.

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 March 14, 2024.

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