Big summer of blight removal planned for Muskegon County

MUSKGON COUNTY, MICH. -

In 2016 the city of Muskegon Heights used Federal Hardest Hit grant funds remove 160 condemned homes.

This year Muskegon County was awarded that same grant. It will use the money to remove 40 homes in Muskegon Heights, seven homes in the city of Muskegon, and two properties in Dalton Township.

Muskegon County Land Band Director Tim Burgess says efforts are being made to remove blight from rural areas this summer. 

"We want to help those folks out as well," Burgess said.

Unlike last year this year some of the $ 1.9 million dollar grant will be spent in townships in Muskegon County. 

One lot in the village of Lakewood Club has been identified.

"It has just become a dumping ground," Burgess said.

The mobile home there is already gone, but piles of junk remain.   

The grant will also pay to demolish a home on Main Street in Twin Lake home that was condemned in 2014.

Neighbor Linda Ludlow says it's been vacant for year.

"I'd say 20 years at least," Ludlow said.

"It is the biggest eye-sore of Twin Lake."

Ludlow believes the value of her home will go up after the condemned home is removed. 

"We have been trying for this for a long time," Ludlow said.

After condemned homes is gone the land bank works to get the lots into good hands. 

That effort will continue this summer. Giving neighboring property owners first shot at the lots. Some have been sold for as little as $100.00. 

The 49-properties identified are just for round one of demo. Another list of properties will be identified for demolition this fall.

The land bank in Muskegon County hopes the federal grant covers the cost of removing 100-blighted homes by the end of this year. 

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Contact Jon Mills: jonmills@wzzm13.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonMills20.   

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