West Springfield Blight Task Force addresses close to 100 properties since formation

Massachusetts

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Mayor William Reichelt praises the Blight Task Force after reaching milestone of nearly 100 properties addressed.

Created in 2016 by Mayor Reichelt, the task force was one part of his five point plan for the town of West Springfield. The Blight Task Force is staffed with members from the towns: Health, Building, Police, and Law Departments. Meeting monthly, they work to enforce compliance efforts and to strategize the best ways to handle newly identified problem properties.

Many of the properties addressed by the Blight Task Force are described as foreclosed, bank-owned properties and while issues with these properties are usually corrected after a phone call or formal letter, litigation is sometimes used for more complicated situations.

Mayor Reichelt in a statement saying: “By correcting these issues, we are improving residents’ property values and have also been able to expand the tax base in some instances by redevelopment of previously blighted properties. Correction of these issues is a win for the whole community.”

Any members of the West Springfield community with concerns about blighted properties are encouraged to contact the task force at btf@tows.org. Code enforcement representatives from both the Health and Building departments investigate these reports and make efforts to respond to them every week.

To date, the Blight Task Force has been able to address a number of the properties that had been damaged during the 2011 tornado by assigning the property to a receiver. These receivers are typically contractors or property managers with significant experience in remedying blighted properties. Prior to the formation of the Blight Task Force, these properties had been described as a blight on their communities.

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