City leaders address blight problem impacting their city - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

City leaders address blight problem impacting their city

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FLINT (WJRT) -

(02/19/13) - Blight and crime are two major issues affecting many Mid-Michigan communities.

Flint's Mayor announced that millions of dollars could be on the way to demolish eyesores in city neighborhoods.

However, at least one city leader is feeling that one area is being left out.

Many say abandoned homes increases crime. One city leader feels the Mayor didn't do enough to address this problem on the north side of Flint.

"I have stayed in the place since 1983 and I've seen it just go down, down, down, down, down," said Flint resident William Monroe.

After 30 years, Monroe has seen the change in his north side Flint community. He's frustrated because he doesn't see it getting any better.

"Crime is growing and the blight is there I guess because of the unemployment," he said.

Blight has been a big problem in the city of Flint. City Councilwoman Jackie Poplar says it's even bigger in her ward - on the north side.

It's something she believes was missed in the Mayor's State of the City address.

"I want to see right now is I want to see houses come down, not us continually talk about them. I need to see some action," she said.

Mayor Walling says help is on the way, not just on the north side, but in the entire city.

"Today, we have the full details being released on the $3.7 million grant from the state of Michigan. One of them is around Flint Northwestern High School, another is around Flint Northern and the last is around the South Saginaw Corridor and so two of those areas are on the city's North side," said Mayor Walling.

Beginning with blight, some believe is the way to get a handle on the city's crime problem.

"Whatever it would take to better the situation here in Flint, we need it," said Larry Cade, who lives in Flint.

Over the next year, the funds will be used to demolish nearly 250 blighted residential and commercial structures.

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