Blighted buildings come down in Fall River - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Blighted buildings come down in Fall River

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By: Liz Tufts

     A house known as a hang out for drug dealers is now just a big pile of rubble.  After years of constant complaints and calls to the home on 34 north 7th Street in Fall River was cleared away. "It's been a nuisance for this neighborhood for more than a decade now. It's a haven for crime and fire and building code violations, " says Mayor William Flanagan.

     At one time, it was even a church but after it was abandoned several years ago crime took over. "I have grandchildren and wouldn't let them out when I saw people around, " says Irene Ceiley. Irene Ceiley is one of the many residents fed up with the blight.  "The building next to us had much worse problems than that one, " says Ceiley. But now that building is a brand new condo. Thomas Martin helped put it up. "It opens up the area and I think it's a great thing and more needs to be done, " says Martin.

     Mayor Flanagan is working on making that happen. Under his "Building Blocks" initiative, he hopes to clear away more of the city's eyesores and at the same time drive out of the drugs "Circumstances where a property owner is no longer able to take care of his or her property either intentionally or unintentionally the city is going to step in and then work with that property owner to either transform building or give title to someone who can take care of it, " says Mayor Flanagan.

    Grant money is helping tear down these blighted properties. The mayor hopes to tear down about 20 more As far as the empty space left over by the blighted building, come this spring it  will become a community garden.

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