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RDA highlights blighted property success story

Sometimes the City of Warren Redevelopment Authority has to take ownership of properties because they are in such bad shape.

On Wednesday, the group had a better story.

The RDA congratulated Keith Kophazy for his efforts in saving and renovating a property that had once been under consideration for demolition.

The 102 Center Street property has a new roof, has been completely renovated inside, and will soon have new siding.

“They are going great guns and it is truly a success story,” Code Officer Ken Hinton said.

“We have to thank Mr. Kophazy for having that vision,” Building Code Official Terry Williams said. “He has made a difference in this neighborhood and this community.”

The property at 602 Conewango Avenue is a different story.

The city’s Blighted Property Review Committee issued a second declaration of blight on that property in January, and passed the situation to the RDA for consideration.

Code Officer Jessica Roudybush said little has been done to improve the property since it was sold to Craig Hartley in 2017.

The RDA members voted to invite Hartley to their 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 18, meeting to discuss the situation with him.

“It’s been sitting for years. We need a timeline,” Chairman David Cantrell said. “If he doesn’t stick to that timeline, we need to push forward.”

On Wednesday, the authority sold property.

The authority had purchased 11 1/2 Linwood St. to deal with blight. The demolition there was handled by city crews.

The entire process — including purchasing the property at repository, getting a demolition permit, and renting dumpsters for the removal of material — cost the authority less than $4,000.

The purchase price offered by Steve Salen was $1,000.

Authority members approved the sale, taking into consideration both having the area back on the tax rolls and no longer being responsible for maintaining the property.

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