LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – In 2006, officials from the city of Lansing put red tags on 1722 Donora St. And it has been slowly falling apart, without action, since.
Not anymore, the city council Monday night voted to demand more than a half dozen red tag properties be made safe or be demolished. That’s out of 600 unsafe and unsightly buildings currently on the city’s red tag list.
The Donora St. property has been a burden on residents for years, with the only residents being raccoons.
“I see it every day, and the only new thing on it has been a roof in the last few years,” says David LaLone, who has lived across the street from the property for a decade. “Obviously, no one’s done anything with it, and yeah, it could definitely just come down.”
LaLone was stunned to realize the city has been aware of the blighted property for 17 years and is concerned why city officials allowed the property to languish.
“I did not realize it’s been that long,” he tells 6 News. “That’s ridiculous to think the house has been a problem that long and is still standing. That’s unfortunate the city hasn’t taken care of it.”
City officials say the situation with red-tagged properties has been in crisis for years and they continue to try to unravel how it was allowed to fester.
“We have met a number of times,” says Adam Hussain, chair of the Public Safety Committee for City Council. He is the Third Ward Councilmember as well. “We have provided this committee with a number of updates – there are times we’ve made significant ground, and there have been times, not so much because these issues are complex.”
Hussain points to staffing as an ongoing part of the difficulty in addressing red-tag properties, but says the council and the Public Safety Committee remain dedicated to solving the crisis.
“These factors have diminished our available bandwidth for the code division analysis,’ he says. “There is still a commitment to getting this done, and prioritization is forthcoming.”