Stanislaus County will change program focus to demolishing unsafe structures

kcarlson@modbee.comJune 26, 2014 

  • County actions

    The Board of Supervisors took the following action Tuesday:

    • Approved a $2.34 million contract for Knife River Construction of Stockton to make sewer improvements for the Parklawn neighborhood in south Modesto.

    • OK’d an agreement with Howard Training Center to provide group and home-delivered meals to seniors. Postponed a decision on contract to provide senior employment services.

Stanislaus County will change the focus of its neighborhood stabilization program to demolishing abandoned residential structures that are dangerous.

Over the past five years, the county used $13.9 million in federal funding for efforts to purchase and renovate foreclosed homes in blighted neighborhoods and recycled the funds by reselling the homes. Born during the nation’s financial collapse, the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program provided aid for cities and counties devastated by the foreclosure crisis.

Today, there are far fewer properties in foreclosure. County supervisors gave approval this week to work on demolishing abandoned residential structures that pockmark neighborhoods. The county has $2.25 million from the resale of foreclosed properties.

The county will target dangerous properties that have lost 75 percent of their value because of fire damage or neglect, are not fit for habitation, and pose a health and safety hazard. Contractors will be hired to demolish structures and clean up the properties. The county will place liens on parcels to recover its funds.

With the average cleanup costing $8,050, funds are available to abate more than 250 properties. The county can spend the money in communities and neighborhoods that meet income requirements. The designated areas include the cities of Ceres, Newman, Oakdale, Patterson and Waterford, as well as Empire, Keyes, Salida, the airport and Shackelford neighborhoods, Denair, Crows Landing, Hickman and Grayson.

The city of Modesto has its own neighborhood stabilization program.

Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at kcarlson@modbee.com or (209) 578-2321.

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