City to remove 12-15 blight structures thanks to recent grant

ISHPEMING — The City of Ishpeming is one of ten groups across Michigan to receive a big boost for blight elimination.

The city — in partnership with the Marquette County Land Bank Authority — is getting $250,000 in grant money to help tackle residential blight. The money was awarded by the MHA and MSHDA through a program funded with federal dollars secured by U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters late last year.

Officials say that blight removal can have three important effects on the community.

“It will definitely make the city safer, because some of these properties are clearly unsafe and a hazard to the neighborhoods,” said Ishpeming City Manager Mark Slown. “In addition to that, it’ll help improve the appearance of the community by removing them, and hopefully stabilize property values, and if we’re successful, actually improve property values for the neighbors once the blight is gone.”

“This grant is strictly for residential (properties) and so it’s a little bit easier to determine the demo price tags on residential properties,” said Anne Giroux, Marquette County Treasurer. “Price tags on residential properties are typically between $10,000–$20,000, so we’re looking at taking down a dozen to 15 residential with this $250,000.

A number of blight removal projects were undertaken last year in Ishpeming, including the removal of the old steam plant building on Seventh Street. The City of Ironwood will also receive two hundred forty thousand in blight elimination money through this round of grants.