Vacant Buildings Coming Down In Mount Carmel

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MOUNT CARMEL --Demolition has begun on four vacant houses in a Northumberland County borough.

Three of the buildings on Center Street in Mount Carmel have stood vacant for more than 45 years and now they are being torn down.

"It's about time. They've been an eyesore for years" said Shirley Weikel.

Officials in Northumberland County are going all out to tear down blighted properties.

"Cleans up the neighborhood, and again, reinvesting in the community" said Ed Christiano, Northumberland County Housing Authority.

UNB Bank in Mount Carmel gave the borough $50,000 to knock down the buildings as part of a tax credit program.

"We want what's best for Mount Carmel and we're willing to put our money where our mouth is," said Frank Morrision, UNB Bank President and CEO.

Perhaps the people who are happiest to see the houses torn down are the people who live by them.

"Stuff always falling down, picking shingles out of the yard, the boards falling down," said Mike Girardi.

Girardi has lived next door to one of the buildings for almost 50 years. He worries one of the vacant buildings will catch fire.

"With the leaves and stuff in the entryway there, and just a cigarette butt it would be up in flames and burn down the whole block."

After the four properties are torn down, the borough plans to sell the land. People who live on the street say they hope someone comes in and builds some nice new houses here.

"It's just going to clean the area up a lot and it makes the value of our houses better then. Nobody wants to live next to that," said neighbor Lori Andruscavage.

Crews expect to have the buildings torn down in the next three weeks.