Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bidding farewell to blight and Sen. Bayh -

GARY | The demolition of two abandoned homes in the 500 block of Georgia Street on Monday displayed progress toward revitalizing the city, U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh said.

"I've been privileged to fight for this community." -- U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, who is retiring Jan. 2 after two terms

Bayh and Mayor Rudy Clay used a sledgehammer to strike one of the buildings prior to excavation equipment tearing through the homes.

"Gary will be a better place because of it," Clay said of the demolition work.

He said Gary has razed about 100 abandoned structures since August and there are hundreds more that need to be demolished.

In September, the city was awarded $2.7 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Neighborhood Stabilization Program to eliminate vacant and dilapidated structures in Gary. Bayh, who will retire from the Senate on Jan. 2 after deciding not to seek re-election, was instrumental in obtaining the funding.

"I've been privileged to fight for this community," Bayh said.

More than a year ago, Bayh and Clay toured the neighborhood where the demolition occurred.

Bayh said he almost fell through the floor when he walked into one of the homes during the tour. Since then, the abandoned structure was heavily damaged by fire.

Bayh said the demolition should benefit residents of the neighborhood, noting he saw children playing in the area during the 2009 tour and heard from homeowners who were struggling to improve their property values.

Clay said razing abandoned structures also could promote economic development and decrease crime in Gary. He said drug dealing often occurs in vacant buildings.

Clay thanked Bayh on Monday for his assistance to the city and indicated it would be difficult to rebuild Gary if the dilapidated structures aren't removed.

Bayh said Gary leaders can contact HUD officials to show Gary's dedication to improving the community through the demolitions, which could lead to more investment in the community.

View the original article here

No comments:

Subscribe via email to get my News Shorts updates

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner