Schuylkill County Working to Rid Communities of Blight

SHENANDOAH -- Schuylkill County is working to rid some of the blight in its communities.

A home on West Coal Street in Shenandoah will soon be torn down. People Newswatch 16 spoke with say it's about time.

"I'm glad to see it because it's a part of Shenandoah that isn't Shenandoah -- shouldn't be Shenandoah," Catherine Pancerella of Shenandoah said.

Schuylkill County received a $1.4 million grant from the state to help combat the county's blight problem. Officials are working with all of the municipalities to identify which buildings need to be torn down. There are about 160 on the list, and 51 of them have been done already. Another 10 are set to be demolished soon.

Shenandoah residents want to see more properties in their community torn down.

"There were so many burned-out buildings, like down by Mrs. T's, there was like seven," MaryAnn Bialecki of Shenandoah said. "The first thing you see when you drive into town are all these horrible, horrible houses, half burned down."

The county tore down a building across from Francesco's in downtown Shenandoah last week.

"It didn't look great, but now it just looks great, open and hopefully something great can come from it," Francesco's owner Francesco Logozzo said.

Logozzo and others in Shenandoah hope the demolitions will be good for the economy.

"Hopefully, by getting our main street looking good, we're going to bring new businesses and some way or other, bring back Shenandoah," Pancerella said.

The property on West Coal Street will be torn down within the next three weeks.

13 comments

    • tommygunn

      I dont think these young people who report on these stories know the issues really here. just a talking point, not putting them down. i just think they have a low knowledge base of the area and its decline.

  • tommygunn

    The problem here unfortunately is clearly more then just knocking some burned out fire traps down in Shenandoah. You got a shift out of this area by the educated, a tremendous amount of governmental duplication of service prided on by poor leadership. Slumlords love the influx of illegal immigrants and bring in criminals from new jersey which fuels the existing drug and alcohol issues. Just knocking a few burned out buildings out in these small towns isn’t gonna get things solved here. This place is in for a rough ride.

  • Alice

    People used to live in those houses. Where did they go? What did the local community leaders do to prevent this current blight? Parking lots are good things to have when there is an actual society instead of a ghost town…..

    • Requiem

      They punish the tax payers that live simple lives who don’t want to be rich or famous. The working class is mainly cannon fodder that has to work multiple shifts at a distribution center so they can feel important. It is a hopeless area full of drugs and suicides now. Pride is a long gone principal when most of those people now have to figure out how to survive. There was even a homeless encampment that they had to knock down in that area. Pennsylvania Skid Row? Sounds like California politics.

  • Miguel

    A large amount of the blight started when the local school district hired an out of the area collection firm called portnoff a couple years back. They would send harassing notifications saying “Your property is about to be sold” much like the phone scams but with legal forms that would take a basic $200 tax bill and turn it into a $5000 lien on a property that would maybe sell for $7000 on a good day. Then a never ending money funnel started that would usually go to upkeep and repairs. Disconnected Schuylkill County politicians have created this empire of dirt. Not the people that worked their whole lives to eventually own nothing.

    • Miguel

      Let the 462 be a warning to the rest of you so your town does not suffer the same fate. This once legendary town’s failure is the work of modern liberal heartless mindsets. Get that money and run, or hold office over the dumbed down/ drugged up population because they got no hugs as a kid. No appreciation for history or any real plan for the future.

  • Independent_Voice

    The Schuylkill County Commissioners, School Districts and local governments are raising taxes every year on home/property owners in Schuylkill County. Which in their own words is a “Depressed Area”. If people especially Senior citizens and middle class families are paying ever increasing taxes every year where are they going to get the money to put towards up keep of their properties? Where is that property tax elimination that a majority of the politicians are pushing but apparently not hard enough.

      • tommygunn

        high school football only thing that matters here. and about 0.5 percent of all players get d1a scholarships in current day skook. Fiscal Priorities are in the wrong areas. The addiction to high school sports just fuels corruption, just reference the Ramirez case in Shenandoah 10 years ago and Sandusky case with Penn state.

  • WAYNE S

    sad thing about this is you cant demolish the thousands of blighted houses in the skook that are now owned by slumlords and rented out; just the abandoned houses that were damaged by fire or were left unlivable by the owner.

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