In an earlier post, we featured an article from Western Wayne News (WWN) discussing “VPROs”. That article is part of a series on addressing blight. In the next article, WWN provides a high-level view of how local government jurisdictions currently addresses blighted properties. The Q& A featured;

  • Hagerstown (IN) Town Manager Chris LaMar
  • Centerville (IN) Code Enforcement Gerald Millsaps
  • Cambridge City Superintendent of Public Works Ken Risch
  • Wayne County (IN) Director of Facilities and Development Steve Higinbotham

The following questions were addressed.

  1. Do you have any blighted property ordinances (more than 1?) What sorts of things do they reference, i.e., grass exceeding a specified number of inches? Overgrown, dead or dropped trees that have been left unattended? Abandoned cars?
  2. Could you count or estimate a percent of vacant properties in your community, that are blighted?
  3. Do you provide aid to property owners unable to keep up with exterior maintenance, before it gets too large to resolve? If yes, please provide contact information and special requirements for getting that assistance, i.e., senior citizen, health compromised, lacking skills or equipment to do the work.
  4. What enforcement efforts, if any, have you utilized in the past 6 months, and how effective have efforts been?
  5. Who is in charge of enforcement – name, phone and email – and is enforcement only initiated by complaints or do you have someone looking for violations and providing citations?
  6. When acting on a citizen complaint, is the complainant identified when you contact the property owner?
  7. How much time do you allow for vacant properties with fire damage?
  8. What are your biggest challenges in dealing with blighted property?
  9. Other information you would like citizens to know.

To view the responses, please click here.