Ishpeming on right track in battling blight

Ishpeming continues to make progress in battling blight, although more remains to be done. The city has been awarded $221,000 from the Marquette County Land Bank Authority for blight elimination.

The money can be used not only for building removal but to create economic growth, land bank Chairwoman Anne Giroux said in an email that was quoted in a Mining Journal story. Of the 90 properties the land bank has demolished since 2009, 38 have been in Ishpeming.

“Blight elimination, whether it be through demolition or rehab, achieves both” building removal and economic development, Giroux said in the Journal story. “Many property owners have benefited from purchasing one of our vacant lots through our side lot program. We have just this year embarked on turning two of the vacant lots in our inventory into public spaces that will benefit the community.”

While Ishpeming has taken very definite strides in addressing blight within its borders, more needs to be done, City Manager Mark Slown said. But give Ishpeming credit. Taking on blight is neither easy nor cheap.