Blight program meeting tonight in Pelzer


September 10, at 6 p.m. at the Pelzer Community Building

Anyone interested in helping alleviate blight in the Pelzer and West Pelzer area is invited to a meeting being held tonight in Pelzer in which Anderson County officials will explain the Neighborhood Initiative Program (NIP). The program has the purpose to identify, purchase, and demolish blighted homes in order to stabilize property values and to prevent eventual foreclosures of the property.

Anderson County has been awarded just under $2.5 million dollars, which will be used to alleviate blight in the eleven different target areas in the county. Steve Newton, special projects director for Anderson County will explain the program to those who attend, and enlist their help in identifying the properties in their area. The program is funded by the U.S. Treasury Department, and is administered by the South Carolina Housing Office.

“This program is limited to residential structures,” Newton said. “Once they are identified, an appraisal will be conducted and we will try to locate and contact the owners. We will seek to purchase the property and demolish the home. The county will maintain control of the property for three years, during which we will be responsible for maintenance and upkeep. Before the end of the three years, we will meet with the community again, seeking input into the best use of the properties. For example, an area might be suitable for a community greenspace, or park.”

The Pelzer Heritage Commission has been working with the county on a number of issues, and are partnering with the county in the effort.

The meeting will beheld on September 10, at 6 p.m. at the Community Building behind the BiLo. Newton said that a separate meeting will be held in Williamston in the coming weeks.