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Additional $50K allocated to Blighted Property Fund

The Capital Improvement Authority on Monday unanimously approved allocating an additional $50,000 toward the Blighted Property Fund that is being used to demolish derelict houses throughout Excelsior Springs.

Public Works Director Chad Birdsong made the request along with an update on the program. Birdsong explained to the new authority members that the Blighted Property Fund was originally established to clean up properties deemed by city officials to be in bad enough shape that they were not worth trying to save. With no one moving to put money into their rehabilitation, the homes were purchased by the city at relatively small amounts in order to remove them.

“The program has been very successful, cleaning up properties and making those areas of town more pleasant to live in,” Birdsong said.

He reported that the properties located at 1004 Don Shelton, 203 S. Kansas City Ave., 404 E. Broadway, 113 Perry Lane and 511 Grand Ave. along with the old Animal Control Center have all been removed through this program. A property on 722 Isley Blvd. is next on the list.

Birdsong said that so far, these demolitions have cost $30,578.29 which averages to $5,096 per site. April’s balance sheet shows $20,961 remaining in the fund leaving a deficit of approximately $10,000, thus his request to allocate additional funds to the account from Capital Improvement.

The Isley Blvd. property is expected to be slightly higher in costs due to the fact the adjacent property has a foundation that needs removal as well. The structure was removed earlier, but now the foundation needs to be torn out. Birdsong estimates that work to cost around $6,500.

“Plus we like to keep a balance in this account in case of emergency needs,” Birdsong added.

Tray Harkins moved to allocate the requested funds and John Hill seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

By Brian Rice • brian@leaderpress.com

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