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Pottsville takes action against blight in new ordinance

POTTSVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The city of Pottsville is taking more action in the fight against blight by adding commercial properties to their already standing nuisance ordinance in hopes of attracting more new businesses.

“We always believe we need to do our part to set the stage for any type of private investment and the community, whether it be working with our infrastructure or with our ordinance system, to make sure they compliment development,” Tom Palamar, a city administrator, told Eyewitness News.

City officials believe modifying the ordinance will help with an upward trajectory in business development. The current ordinance allows officials to address residential properties causing commotion for a variety of reasons including code and zoning violations as well as criminal complaints but it has stopped short of enforcing laws on commercial properties.

“Obviously we don’t want to, you know, chase anyone out from our community but we want to make them understand that they need to be partners with us, we need to be on the same positive page,” Palamar said.

If a person has over three offenses during a 180 day window, the city will try to work with the property owner to correct the issues. If it goes uncorrected, that’s when the city will start issuing citations.

With blight remaining a constant battle for the city, there are high hopes that this ordinance will encourage property owners to be good neighbors.

“You should definitely keep up your own property because not only is it for yourself, but it’s also part of the community. We’re all here trying to thrive together and it’s just you doing your part,” Billie, a Pottsville resident, said.

The new ordinance is expected to go into effect later this year.