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County Takes Next Step in Blight Prevention PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Ceschini   
Monday, 29 January 2018 10:40

COUNTY TAKES NEXT STEP IN BLIGHT PREVENTION

In a continued effort to halt the spread of blighted properties throughout Armstrong County, the Board of Commissioners approved a contract in January of 2018 with Christopher Gulotta, of The Gulotta Group, for consulting services in the development of a land bank.

A land bank is a governmental body that promotes redevelopment by converting abandoned, vacant and tax delinquent properties into productive use with a goal toward stabilizing and revitalizing communities.

The creation of a land bank was among the recommendations included within the Armstrong County Blight Task Force Report, which was issued in 2017.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Pat Fabian said this is an important step in tackling property blight.

“The problems associated with chronically deteriorated and abandoned properties were among the issues raised during our town hall meetings,” Fabian said. “It’s important to be proactive in dealing with these problems before they get worse, and the development of a land bank is one of the ways to do that.”

The process of developing a land bank is expected to take at least eight or nine months and will involve a number of stakeholder meetings and discussion with local and county officials.
Gulotta will also hold a presentation in the Kittanning area in March of 2018 for municipal officials and their representatives to discuss multiple local ordinances and procedures that are effective in tackling issues related to blight.

Christopher Gulotta, Principal of The Gulotta Group from Easton, Pa., provides technical assistance in the areas of affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization and economic development. He served as the executive director of the Redevelopment and Housing Authorities of Cumberland County for 30 years before forming The Gulotta Group in 2010. Since then, Gulotta has worked with at least four counties – including Westmoreland – to form land banks.

Services provided by The Gulotta Group are being paid for with funding from a DCED grant, which was awarded to Armstrong County for the purpose of assisting local municipalities in blight remediation efforts.

 
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