Senate passes measure to prevent spread of blight

HARRISBURG – The Senate unanimously passed a proposal today authored by Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) to shorten the timeframe in which property owners must bring their property into compliance with property maintenance codes.

Under current law, owners whose property is in violation of codes have 18 months to bring their property into compliance or demolish the structure. Senate Bill 942 would shorten that timeframe to 12 months. Municipalities may also enforce shorter compliance than 12 months if the timeframe is established in their property maintenance code.

“Blight is a pervasive problem that can spread block by block, so it is critical to ensure we prevent that problem before it starts,” Argall said. “I’m hopeful that this additional tool will help local municipalities address the problem as quickly as possible.”

The measure was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Proposal would provide another weapon in arsenal against blight

HARRISBURG – The Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee unanimously approved a proposal by Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) on Monday to shorten the timeframe when property owners must bring their property into compliance with property maintenance codes.

Under current law, property owners have 18 months to bring a property into compliance or demolish the property. Senate Bill 942 would shorten that timeframe to 12 months. Municipalities may also enforce shorter compliance than 12 months if the timeframe is established in their property maintenance code.

“Blight is contagious and can spread block by block,” Argall said. “I’m hopeful that this additional tool will aid local governments in their war on blight.”

Senate passes Argall’s blight demolition funding proposal

HARRISBURG – The Senate approved legislation today to give counties a new option to finance the demolition of blighted and abandoned properties, according to the bill’s sponsor, Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks).

Senate Bill 486 would offer counties the option to levy up to an additional $15 fee on deeds and mortgages recorded in the Recorder of Deeds office. The new revenue would be used exclusively for demolition funding within that specific county. The measure passed the Senate by a vote of 49-0.

“Blight is not the kind of problem that can be solved with a one-size-fits-all approach. Every community faces its own unique challenges in dealing with the cost of remediating abandoned and blighted structures,” Argall said. “Over the past several years, the General Assembly has given counties and municipalities numerous weapons to fight against blight. This bill is a continuation of the process to provide a broader menu of options to fit the needs of each individual community.”

The legislation was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Appropriations Committee approves Argall’s demolition funding proposal

HARRISBURG – Counties could have another option to finance the demolition of blighted and abandoned properties under legislation approved today by the Senate Appropriations Committee, according to the bill’s sponsor, Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks).

Argall’s legislation, Senate Bill 486, would give counties the option to levy up to an additional $15 fee on deeds and mortgages recorded in the Recorder of Deeds office. The new revenue must solely be used for demolition funding within that specific county.

“This provides a much-needed option for counties to levy local funding to remediate blighted properties,” Argall said. “This measure will provide another weapon to continue the war on blight.”

The legislation heads to the full Senate for its consideration.