Demolition of blighted residences good use of funds

Hats off to five Upper Peninsula counties – led by Marquette County – in their successful joint bid to secure $143,000 in Michigan State Housing Development Authority grant funding to help raze 11 blighted residences.

We think this is great news and continues efforts by Marquette County Treasurer Anne Giroux, and others, to remove dilapidated structures on foreclosed properties in the area.

Last year, with another source of grant funding, three dozen structures were demolished at K.I. Sawyer near the elementary school.

The Marquette County Land Bank Authority has also worked to tear down several other properties in poor condition within the county, allowing those properties to be sold or redeveloped and returned to the tax rolls.

There continues to be much more work of this kind to do.

Earlier this year, Marquette County submitted a 2014 Housing Resource Fund blight elimination grant application as the lead applicant from a counties’ consortium, which also includes Alger, Delta, Houghton and Gogebic counties.

A 25 percent match is required for the grant.

“This funding will provide $143,000 from MSHDA with a local match of $39,738 toward the demolition of 11 blighted residential structures in five counties,” Giroux said in a memo to the Marquette County Board.

Marquette County plans to use its Tax Foreclosure Fund to finance its match.

Under the grant funding award, Marquette County will demolish three residences; one located in Republic Township and two others in the city of Ishpeming. In addition, Alger County has one residence slated for demolition in Mathias Township; Delta County has one structure on the list in the city of Escanaba; Gogebic County has two properties in the city of Ironwood and one in the city of Bessemer; Houghton County has one residence in Adams Township, one in Franklin Township and one in the village of Lake Linden.

Again, congratulations to the five counties and their efforts to improve the neighborhoods where these dilapidated homes are located and thanks to the housing development authority for awarding the money to these Upper Peninsula projects.