Markosek: $55K to combat blight in Wilmerding, East Pittsburgh

10 structures set for demolition, 80 could return to tax rolls

MONROEVILLE, May 25 – A round of state grants announced today by state Rep. Brandon Markosek will enable Wilmerding to demolish 10 hazardous, unsafe dwellings and will fund an East Pittsburgh plan that aims to restore 80 properties to taxpaying status.

Markosek, D-Allegheny, said Commonwealth Financing Authority grants of $30,000 to Wilmerding and $25,000 to East Pittsburgh for blight remediation will make both projects possible.

“This wise state investment will help our local communities achieve their goal of eradicating blight and its negative fallout, which includes unsightly, unsafe and undesirable structures,” Markosek said. “Today, we’re taking a big step forward in the quest to turn eyesores into attractive, marketable properties.”

Markosek said the Wilmerding demolition project lines up with the borough’s blight remediation plan, as most – if not all – of the 10 structures are tax-delinquent and unsafe for human habitation.

Markosek explained that the East Pittsburgh grant will assist the borough in creating tools aimed at mitigating the effects of blight, including how to handle transfers of properties via land banks, conservatorships and sheriff's sales; incentives for owners to maintain their properties; and a plan for properties to be demolished.

“East Pittsburgh’s proposed planning project basically will develop a comprehensive blight plan where one currently does not exist,” Markosek said.

The state’s Blight Remediation Program includes funding for the acquisition, demolition, and/or rehabilitation of blighted properties or properties affected by natural disasters –including the clearing and preparing of land for future use and projects resulting in visible improvements.