- Today, Reps. Tim Twardzik (R-Schuylkill); Rosemary M. Brown (R- Monroe/Pike), chairwoman of the House Urban Affairs Committee; and members of the committee met with representatives of the Pottsville Blight Task Force, as well as other local officials, to discuss the negative impact blight has caused in Schuylkill County and possible solutions to improve the surrounding communities.
“The 123rd Legislative District has recently received grants to assist our county with the continued blight remediation process,” said Twardzik. “I am thankful to the House Urban Affairs Committee and Chairwoman Rosemary Brown for bringing the committee here for this tour and hearing. Our continued efforts across the state will assist areas like ours as we combat blighted properties.”
Testifiers during this public hearing included Thomas A. Palamar, Pottsville city administrator and Pottsville Blight Task Force member; Sandra Fisk, Mahanoy City borough manager; Michael T. McKeever, Esq., KML Law Group, P.C., Philadelphia; Michael J. O’Connor, attorney, Michael J. O’Connor and Associates; Bobby Weaver, Pottsville business owner; and Mary Beth Dougherty, staff assistant for Sen. David Argall (R-29), who is Pottsville Blight Task Force member.
“Our committee has been conducting public hearings across the Commonwealth to gain additional insights on how blight is affecting our districts on a local level,” said Brown. “As we have found, blight is not common in just one area, but an issue that is present statewide. Today’s hearing was another great collaboration with local leaders to come up with efficient and beneficial solutions to remedy area blight. I want to thank Rep. Twardzik for having us in the 123rd Legislative District and helping lead this critical discussion.”
In the near future, the committee will be bringing forward and voting on a blight remediation bill package, of which Twardzik will be offering as House Bill 1791
Twardzik’s legislation would allow local communities to create and maintain a vacant property registration and assessment program, which is a blight-fighting, smart growth tool used to stabilize and re-develop communities.
More information on this bill can be found here
Other bills in the new blight package seek to update existing blight remediation laws, others are geared toward enticing more stringent local code enforcement (which is vital to achieving remediation and revitalization).
The House Urban Affairs Committee is responsible for reviewing legislation regarding housing, specifically affordable housing; community redevelopment; economic development; land use planning and zoning; growth management; infrastructure financing; and issues regarding Pennsylvania's cities.
For more information concerning the House Urban Affairs Committee and future scheduled meetings and hearings, visit here
Representative Tim Twardzik
Representative Rosemary M. Brown
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
(Twardzik) Matt Deegan, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Brown) Abby Chiumento, email@example.com