The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 18, 2011

Sunbury blight list shrinks

SUNBURY — More than a week after the city released a list of 40 blighted or vacant houses targeted to be cleaned or razed, 24 owners scrambled to fix properties.

That list is now down to 16.

Mayor David Persing announced June 27 the city would be looking at properties in order to “clean up Sunbury.”

 “We needed to do something, and we are now working with the courts to make this possible,” Persing said. “All we need to do is show proof of how many letters and calls we made to the owners of these places, and then we can gain control of the properties and have auctions.”

Persing kept to his word. As of June 28, the city had acquired four properties by court order — 144 South St., 83-85 N. Eighth St., 1031 N. River Ave., and 810 N. Sixth St. All have been granted to the city at a cost of zero dollars by Northumberland County Court.

The cost of demolition is about $25,000 per home, and even though the city has $300,000 set aside for redevelopment, it can use only 30 percent a year, or $90,000, for demolition, said Jamie Shrawder, a block grant specialist at SEDA-Council of Governments.

City officials don’t plan on knocking everything down at once, but did say they will concentrate on the worst and try to have sales for the rest.

“It is time we clean up,” Persing said. “Some of the spots are good spots for other houses or maybe townhouses.”

In order to be determined a property is blighted, code enforcement officials visit the property and make an assessment before reporting to City Council, code officer Joe Swope said.

The project took time getting started because locating owners wasn’t easy, Persing said.

“They move and just let the properties behind,” he said. “Just because we have a name doesn’t mean we can find the person.”

The city sent letters to all homeowners and gave fair warning.

“Some of the letters we sent out we got back because the people didn’t live at their new place of residency,” Persing said. “And then some of the people just didn’t respond to us.”

Property owners can challenge Sunbury for their homes, city solicitor Michael Apfelbaum said.

“Typically, no one does,” he said. “We want to clean the city up and I think that people want us to clean the city up.”

Text Only
  • bearden9.jpg Bail reduced for Bearden

    Jasmine Bearden, who was arrested earlier this year on criminal attempted homicide charges for the alleged abuse of her six-week old baby, had her bail reduced in Union County on Tuesday morning.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • US airlines scrap Israel flights

    Two U.S. airlines cancelled all flights to Israel until further notice, after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport.

    July 22, 2014

  • 1flag.jpg Mysterious white flags appear atop Brooklyn Bridge

    Someone has replaced two American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge with mysterious white flags.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • bass22.jpg Mifflinburg honors its national fishing champs

    MIFFLINBURG — More than 50 friends, fans and relatives gathered in front of Mifflinburg Area High School on Monday night to celebrate the homecoming of juniors Nick Osman and Garrett Enders, newly crowned winners of the BASSmasters National High School Championships, held last week in Tennessee.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Federal appeals court deals blow to ACA

    A federal appeals court has delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama’s health care law, potentially derailing subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who have bought policies.

    July 22, 2014

  • Newport official succeeds Snook in $94G-a-year post

    Newport School District’s director of educational services is slated to be hired tonight by the Midd-West School Board to fill the vacant director of curricular and instruction position.

    July 22, 2014

  • Report: Retaliation by supervisors common at VA

    A pharmacy supervisor at the VA was placed on leave after complaining about errors and delays in delivering medications to patients at a hospital in Palo Alto, California.

    July 22, 2014

  • $5,000 added for M-W restroom work

    The bill for the Midd-West School District stadium restroom renovations continues to rise to the consternation of at least one board member.

    July 22, 2014

  • Today's editorial: Dubious achievements in press secretary-ism

    Ryan Shucard, press secretary to Valley Congressman Tom Marino since May, recently posted on LinkedIn that he was excited and ready to elevate the congressman’s legislative profile — which Shucard did last weekend (but not in a good way) when he got himself arrested for bringing a pistol into a federal office building.

    July 22, 2014

  • Danville train diver left hospital 4 days before suicide

    DANVILLE — The young man who killed himself by diving under an Iron Heritage Festival passenger train underwent treatment in mental health facilities as recently as four days before his death, according to Montour County Coroner Scott E. Lynn.

    July 22, 2014

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.