The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ironwood receives $50,000 blight grant


April 4, 2019


Ironwood — The city of Ironwood received a Michigan Rural Community Demolition Grant for $50,000 to address the issue of blight in the city.

Scott Erickson, city manager for Ironwood, said the money will be used to clean up the collapsed building on Ayer Street.

“We’re moving forward with getting things prepared to go out for bids to get contractors involved to do the demolition work,” he said.

There is a lot of paperwork required by the state which needs to be done before that can happen, he added.

The owner of the building will have the property deeded to the city so grant funds can be used to help cover the clean-up cost, he said.

Erickson said the city has no immediate plans for the property, but the building is adjacent to other property that the city owns.

“It expands that property for future development potential,” he said.

Over the last 10 years the city has also removed more than 150 residential homes which were deemed to be blighted.

Erickson said homes in need of extensive repair get into the cycle of tax forfeiture where people buy them at a low cost and then don’t put any money into them. Once the new owners realize how much money it will cost to repair the house, he said some of the owners abandon them, don’t pay the tax and the cycle continues.

“We’ve taken out a lot of the really bad ones over the last few years, it doesn’t mean there aren’t a few more out there,” he said.

Erickson said the city has an additional $220,000 through the State of Michigan from the Hardest Hit Blight grant and he hopes to remove 10 to 12 more homes.

“Every time we can take one house out of the neighborhood it’s going to take that rotten apple out of the barrel,” he said. “The rest of the barrel stays good and people invest back into their properties.”


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