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Residents Hold out Hope for Girardville

GIRARDVILLE, Pa. -- Abandoned homes and apartment buildings are falling apart in one Schuylkill County community, and people living there have had enough.

For people who've lived Girardville a long time, they say watching the main stretch of the borough fall apart is simply sad. Borough officials say they are aware of some of these weak structures and say they're doing everything they can to improve things.

Mary Malarkey looks down West Main Street in Girardville, thinking about the glory days. She's spent much of her life right here in Schuylkill County and says the borough used to be booming.

"I miss the old Girardville. It's still a good town. There's still a lot of good people, and they're trying hard to make it come back to being a really nice place, but it's really sad to see what has become of the older buildings. It's changed so much," Malarkey said.

Malarkey remembers her hometown in Schuylkill County as a place that had everything. But over the years, the borough's landscape changed dramatically.

Now, you look around and see blocks littered with blighted properties, including one on the 100 block of West Main Street. Borough officials say the roof collapsed during a rain storm a few weeks ago. The structure is in such poor condition, a portion of the sidewalk is blocked off. The widow's walk now serves as a bird's nest.

"It's like losing an old friend to see the buildings actually cave in. It's very hard to see," added Malarkey.

Newswatch 16 reached out to the mayor of Girardville. He tells us code enforcement officers plan to cite to the owner of the property. The mayor adds that in the last 18 months, 15 dilapidated properties have been taken down in the borough, giving residents hope that the area will improve.

"I like the area. It's nice and quiet. The crime rate is down. It's not as bad as what people have said it used to be. It's a nice area, nice and quiet," said Denise Mosley of Girardville.

Girardville's mayor adds that while the back of the building is crumbling, there's no real danger of the structure falling onto the sidewalk or road.

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