Reno Blight Initiative Fund Being Used to Clean Up Downtown - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Reno Blight Initiative Fund Being Used to Clean Up Downtown

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The City of Reno is using a $1 Million Blight Initiative Fund to clean up run down buildings, homeless camps, graffiti, and trash in the downtown area.

Residents we talked to are tired of blight throughout downtown and their neighborhoods, so they're glad the city is promoting new development and safety where they live.

I think it kind of keeps people from coming here. Because to me, it kind of looks dirty when they're all closed down," said Doris Teeters, a Reno Resident.

The city says they recognize blight in Reno is a major issue, especially the vacant properties.

"People break into them, they'll strip all of the materials out them, then some people use them as drug houses, or some vagrants or homeless hang out and it becomes unsafe," said Oscar Delgado, a Reno City Council member, Ward 3.

So with one million dollars, the city plans to demolish run-down buildings, clean-up trash, and abate graffiti.

"This is a really good opportunity to start cleaning up our communities and also so people start taking more pride as the economy is supposed to take off, and also hopefully help businesses feel a lot better about where they're setting up shop," said Delgado.

Sierra Tap House along the Truckee River in downtown says they would love to see more clean-up efforts to improve Reno.

"Graffiti is an issue. Trash is an issue. We do our best to keep our area in front of our business as clean as possible," said Cassie Flegel, a Manager at Sierra Tap House.

The city has the power to take liens, eventually demolish and even issue citations to property owners that aren't up to code. But they hope it doesn't come down to that.

"Of course, we do have some people that just don't want to work with us. And that's not fair to the community, that's not fair to the kids, that's not fair to the families. So we're really going to put pressure on those properties, but again, our hope is to work with those properties that want to work with us," said Delgado.

One Reno resident thinks the city is making positive changes.

"Certain buildings, you know, they carry a lot of memories for people, but at the same time, they're going to use that space well. And especially with everything Reno is slowly becoming, we're becoming a big art scene, we're becoming a very large tourist destination," said Matthew Henderson, a Reno resident.

The city says they would like to hear from you about properties you think are blight in Reno. Call Reno Direct at (775) 334-4636, so code enforcers can check it out to see if it's a nuisance or safety issue.

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