Cleaning up Berwick

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BERWICK -- Code enforcement officers in Berwick are working to clean up neighborhoods and they are calling more than thirty property owners on the carpet for various violations.

"We started getting a lot of calls about 'hey, this house is vacant, there`s grass growing here, nobody`s around to cut the grass,' so we started going out and looking at these properties, yes this is true," said code enforcement officer Greg Harkins.

Harkins has now homed in on about thirty properties and has reached out to owners to try to get something done.  He sent certified letters and has heard back from about half.

"Surprisingly they were all owned, pretty much, by local people. They`re were only a handful that I sent out-of-town, and I found two of them were bank-held," said Harkins.

The code enforcement office says they've had a good response from many of these property owners, but some homes have a lot more issues and it may take a while to sort them all out.

One house on Front Street has been boarded up and condemned.

Douglas Truax of Berwick lives just down the road from this dilapidated place and says it has caused several problems.

"We found out that there were homeless people living in the one right here, two houses away from us.  We remember when these were upstanding properties and they went into decay fairly rapidly," said Truax.

Many people are happy the borough is taking action, and they're hopeful this effort truly cleans up their town.

"The roads are finally getting repaired. It would be nice to finally see the rest of Berwick get back up into shape.  It`s got a reputation sometimes," said Brandon McCaffery of Berwick.

"I was surprised and pleasantly to see that the borough is taking action to do something about it," said Truax.

Berwick's code office says they'll give these trouble property owners about another two weeks to get in touch with the borough before they start issuing citations.