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Alpena Township to amend Blight Ordinance 137

ALPENA, Mich. – Some Alpena Township residents are calling for change. They say blight is affecting their neighborhood.

“I don’t have any problems with these people trying to make a living somehow, but it’s not really kosher what they’re doing,” said Alpena Township resident Mark Smith.

That’s just one reaction to blight issues in one area neighborhood.

The Alpena Township Board of Trustees has approved a revision to a blight ordinance.

Township Supervisor Nathan Skibbe said right now, Blight Ordinance 137’s rules have been taken advantage of by offenders.

“In some of those cases, the individuals know what their timeline and what are timeline is in terms of a control mechanism,” said Skibbe.

He said with the amendment, the township will have more leverage when it comes to residents complying with the ordinance.

“But now we’ll actually have the ability from going through a timeline that could go upwards of 90 days, to actually go to 10 days if they don’t show any signs of communication or improvement on the issues, when can then proceed with a civil municipal infraction,” said Skibbe.

Skibbe said blight is environmentally unfriendly and divides communities.

His goal is to make the township work together.

“I continuously and I always do every time I get a report of blight, ask neighbors to talk to their neighbors and try to resolve it as neighbors, “said Skibbe.

The Township Board of Trustees will adopt amendments to the ordinance at their next meeting.