Brad Russell

 

Corry Neighborhood Initiative committee member Brad Russell recently spoke to Corry City Council members about a blight plan being developed by CNI and Impact Corry.

With regard to a five-step fast-track blight plan put out by the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, Impact Corry and Corry Neighborhood Initiative (CNI) are developing a formal blight plan. 

The plan would include documenting what has already been done and what will be done to revitalize Corry.

CNI committee member Brad Russell attended a recent Corry City Council planning session to inform council members of the project to develop a plan and gain their support.

"I fully understand the city may choose to go after a citywide plan, which may include blight, and we understand that," Russell said. "Hopefully, whatever we come out with will be incorporated within that plan."

There are 20 blight tools named by the housing alliance. Eight of them are currently being used in Corry.

Russell said of the 20 tools listed, it is good that Corry is already actively using eight.

Those eight are the International Property Maintenance Code, quality of life ticketing ordinance, Erie County Land Bank, city of Corry and Corry Area School District approval of repository purchases, criminal misdemeanor for multiple code violations, demolition of unsafe structures, condemnation proceedings and disqualification of tax sale bidders via the land bank.

Russell said another program on the housing alliance list is scheduled to be implemented, and four more are expected to be adopted by the city but have no start date set.

A rental registration program is scheduled to start during the first quarter of this year as a commercial safety inspection program. The basis of this program is to make sure these types of properties are safe.

A portion of the inspection program that has no start date set is for for vacant properties, foreclosures, pre-sale and post-sale properties.

"Each of these tools is either used to prevent [blight], remediate existing properties, or in some cases, repurpose them," Russell said.

While there is much more being developed by CNI and Impact Corry to help address blight in Corry, a formal plan is estimated to be done in March and Russell is intending to keep Council members informed as the process is completed. 

Preliminarily, all Council members are showing support for initial stages of development, but they intend to review the plan once it is completed and decide whether to officially support it at that time. 

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