BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) - The city of Battle Creek will use more than $1 million infederal grant money to demolish blighted homes in the downtownarea.
The demolition of 125 vacant houses is slated to begin thismonth.
Robert Roniss lives on a block where several of the homes arecondemned. He has watched his neighbors disappear and notreturn.
"It's kinda sad, you know," Roniss said. "I wish every house onthis block was livable."
Roniss has seen violence and drug use in the neighborhood slowdown since the homes have become vacant. He looks forward to someof the boarded-up homes being torn down, but hopes someone willrebuild.
"I know people fall on hard times and can't keep up with theirproperty properly," Roniss said.
Of the $1.95 million in grant money, $1.3 million will bedevoted to demolition, according to the city.
The city might acquire some homes that do not require demolitionto be renovated. It also might develop some of the
land where the houses once stood into public areas, such asparks.
The owners of the property will remain in possession of theland, and it will be up to them to rebuild or sell the land, cityofficials said.
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