City of Flint looking for volunteers for new blight elimination - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

City of Flint looking for volunteers for new blight elimination program

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(01/22/13) - A cleaner community inside and out - that's what the city of Flint is striving for with a new blight elimination program.

Thousands of dollars will go to volunteers so they can start cleaning up their neighborhoods.         

The idea here is to get a handle on blight, one block at a time. The city is hoping this will make neighborhoods safer, and could increase property values.

"If we have something good going on in the neighborhoods, we can't go wrong," said Tanya Whitthorne, a Flint Blue Badge volunteer. The blight elimination program will work closely with the Blue Badge program.

Abandoned homes are an all too familiar sight in Flint. The mayor says up to 25 percent of property in Flint is blighted.

"There's not enough money to tackle this problem, we need to take the money and stretch it with the help of a lot of good volunteers," Mayor Dayne Walling said.

That's what they plan to do with a $25,000 grant through the Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund.

"We're not asking people to submit a budget, we just need to know what's your block, what are the problems you're focusing on," Walling said.

Neighborhood groups can submit an application with their ideas on how to spruce up their block. The city will hone in on 20  blocks, and provide staff, training and money for supplies.

All applications are due by March 30 and should be found on the city's Blue Badge website at .

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