The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


October 8, 2012

Sunbury ramps up blight fight

More owners told: Clean up or clear out

SUNBURY — Sunbury Mayor David Persing is continuing his quest to acquire blighted properties in the city and on Monday city council voted to scarf up three more.

Since the beginning of the year, the city has seized 15 homes and has torn down six of them, city solicitor Mike Apfelbaum said.

Apfelbaum is proud the city is attempting to get the properties and clean up neighborhoods.

“The truth is these are people who have taken a mortgage on the home, got the money, lived in them and have now claimed bankruptcy and left the properties,” he said.

“They aren’t coming back.”

Persing is “hawk eyeing” those properties and announced that 702 Chestnut St., 850 N. Fifth St., and 217-219 12th St., are in his sights.

Those properties have now been declared as nuisance properties and owners have 10 days to clean them up or the city can file with the Northumberland County Court for ownership.

Apfelbaum said the city is now required to post a notice on the front door of the homes and mail a letter to the last known address.

“Then if there is no response, we can file,” he said.

“We are going to continue to move on these properties.”

Persing and Councilman Jim Eister said they are going to be ruthless in their efforts to clean up neighborhoods.

“All the owners who have deserted these properties and have left them become eyesores will be gone,” Eister said.

“This is great progress for the city of Sunbury.”

Persing is thrilled to be part of cleaning up neighborhoods.

“This is just huge for the city,” he said.

“We are moving in the right direction, and I said this in the beginning of the year, that we were going to be going after all these properties. We are tearing them down and we are creating lots for new homes.”

The city acquired 202 Washington Ave. earlier this year and it was demolished last week.

Eister said the home is being built at the factory and should be up before the end of the year.

The cost of tearing down homes in the city is between $10,000 and $15,0000, Eister said.


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