POTTSVILLE -- The National Guard returned to Pottsville this week to board up blighted homes in the city.
The goal of the project is as simple as its name is: Clean and Seal.
"We're trying the best that we can," Pottsville Code Enforcement Officer Justin Trefsger said. "We're trying to get to as many of these properties as we possibly can and board them up."
The PA Department of Military Affairs' Counterdrug Task Force sent the National Guard to Pottsville to board up blighted homes in the city. Last week they boarded up four other homes.
The National Guard is doing the labor for free. The city just has to pay for the materials, which cost about $1,000. Half of that was donated to the city by a realty company.
Neighbors are happy the National Guard is helping out and that these homes will be taken care of.
"I think it's a good idea because kids are using the back part of the building and stuff for parties," Herbert Davis of Pottsville said.
They say they fear vacant properties could attract illegal activities, or even worse, cause arson fires that could spread to their homes.
"I think it is a great idea," Paul Toroney of Pottsville said. "I think there are a lot of vagrants, a lot of junkies, a lot of dope addicts that go in there and sleep. They don't have any place to sleep. It could cause a fire."
The National Guard is boarding up about a dozen homes. The boarded up homes will eventually be demolished.