If Approved, Danville City Will Spend $2.1 Million on Blight Eradication

Danville, VA-- One topic discussed at Danville's City Council Meeting this week could give some hope to home owners.

On Tuesday night city council approved the city's capital investment plan. This included a first reading for a proposed $2.1 million set aside for blight eradication for this fiscal year.

This would be the most money they've ever spent on blight eradication. The city says in past years they haven't had the funds to put that much money toward it. If it's approved they already have plans on how to spend it.

"We are serious about the elimination of blight and helping our neighborhoods get back to where they need to be," said Jerry Rigney, City of Danville Inspections Director.

When it comes to blight, the city of Danville is hoping to kick it into a higher gear.

"We've been trying to eliminate blight for years and the money that we had going toward blight was a limited amount," said Rigney. "We were making some efforts and some progress, but it was very slow and we needed to step up the pace."

Rigney said they've been tackling the problem through their rental inspection program and some demolition, plus the new campaign they had in May.

"The fix up, paint, up, clean up month is one of the big successes we feel like we had," Rigney said.

"I think that's a huge part of blight eradication," said Emily Scolpini, City of Danville Housing and Development Planning Specialist. "You have to stop it before it starts instead of waiting to try and correct it after it's a huge problem."

If council approves the additional $2.1 million toward blight eradication, the city will be able to start tearing down blighted homes. That's some good news for neighbors.

"Anybody that stays in a neighborhood and owns their own home they want it to be the best that it can be," said Lillian Harrison, a Danville homeowner.