Genesee County Spending Millions To Tear Down Blight
Driving around Genesee County can be overwhelming when we see "what used to be" burned out, dilapidated or overgrown & abandoned. Having returned home after nearly 15 years away -- it's shocking to see miles of Dort Highway abandoned, overgrown & dilapidated! Or the old Value City Furniture Plaza at Fenton & Hemphill Roads -- those places used to thrive. Saginaw Street in Beecher, Genesee Township, Clio... could all use some help!
While I understand people may still own property and not be able to afford upkeep, it's necessary for us as a community to take pride in the place we live. That includes getting rid of unsafe, abandoned structures and cleaning up blighted property. Just because we're "used to it" doesn't mean we can't make things look better and be safer for it.
Genesee County Land Bank Executive Director, Michael Freeman told WNEM TV5 there's nearly $40 million to be used throughout the county. It's not just for Flint -- which is good news for the suburbs! In all, more than 1,900 structures will be removed. Plus there's money included to maintain these properties for five years after demolition.
Where are they getting all this money? A few places:
- $24M from the American Rescue Plan Act
- $10M from the Mott Foundation
- $4.5M from the Land Bank and county treasurer
- $1M from federal community project funding
Genesee County Land Bank is seeking a few million more to get rid of additional structures -- Its goal is 2,415, in total. Need to report blight in the city of Flint--> go here.
While we have an opportunity to start-over and create new things in Genesee County, my sincere hope is our residents will get involved with local government: run for office, join community organizations and help to plan our future for success. Urban planning is a major opportunity for Genesee County. If 10 abandon buildings are strung together (Dort Hwy) -- the county should partner with interested parties to remove old buildings instead of leaving them and building another structure on vacant land a mile away. It's okay to include rules that set expectations for business & property owners to maintain things they own, too. Many successful cities around the country do with great success. It's the responsible thing to do.
More around our community and Michigan