Woonsocket’s ‘Dirty Thirty’ initiative knocks down eyesores

By: Alexandra Cowley


The Dirty Thirty is what Woonsocket's new mayor is calling an initiative to rid the city of its eyesores. One by one, old dilapidated buildings are being knocked down, all in an effort to better the city's quality of life.

A multi-family home on Dulude Avenue made Woonsocket's Dirty Thirty list. It's one of dozens in Woonsocket that's been given the option to either come down or be built back up. Newly elected mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt is leading the initiative to clean up the city.

Baldelli-Hunt says, “with the down–turn in the economy we have a lot of boarded up, foreclosed properties, a lot of blight, graffiti and it is a quality of life issue and they've been sitting there a very long time and it should have been addressed a very long time ago.”

In the Dulude Avenue case, fire destroyed the home. Leaving the owner no option but to tear it down. So far, two of the 30 buildings have been torn down. A 3rd is being remodeled.

Baldelli–Hunt says they haven't had to dip into the 40–thousand dollar budget set aside for the plan yet, the owners have taken care of the work so far.

“I always put myself in the situation and say would I like that next door to me, would I like that in my neighborhood, and if the answer is no then that justifies that something needs to be done,” said Baldelli-Hunt.

Contractor Bruce Bosko grew up in Woonsocket, but moved out as soon as he could. Now, he's back to remodel a home that he worries won't sell at market value because of the city's poor quality of life.

Bosko said, “for instance abandoned buildings, infrastructure, roads, bridges, just about everything.”

Seeing work being done to finally clean out the eyesores is motivating to Bosko.

“Well we got a new mayor, something we haven't heard from the old mayor have we,” laughed Bosko.

The city may have a round two of the 'Dirty Thirty' but that all depends on available funds and resources.

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