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New Marshall ordinance aimed at boosting urban renewal

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 1:13 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2022 at 9:01 PM CST
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MARSHALL, Texas (KLTV) - Urban renewal is a problem almost every American city has had to deal with, and one East Texas city is taking steps to solve the problem.

Abandoned and in disrepair, numerous homes inside Marshall city limits have drawn the attention of citizens and city council members.

“It constantly came up about what can we do about the dilapidated housing and overgrown lots. That prompted me to research to see what other cities were doing,” said District 5 councilwoman Vernia Calhoun.

On December 9, council members approved a new Vacant Property Registration Ordinance, requiring registration for property owners whose structures are vacant for 90 days or more.

More than just being unkempt and unpleasant to look at, citizens worry these structures will bring their property values down.

“The need has always been there. We need to address this issue of urban renewal. Just make sure our neighborhoods remain revitalized and increase the values of those homes,” says city director of planning, Fabio Angell.

There is also concern over vacant structures being harbingers of shady activity, like drugs and transients.

“By having this ordinance, it will prevent those undesirable activities in our neighborhood,” Calhoun says.

The ordinance would give the city the opportunity to purchase property to demolish or renovate the existing structure, which has another benefit.

“In the end that means more tax revenue for the city as well, that we need to operate the city, but also to service, provide the services that are needed by our citizens. If it’s not us, then who? If it’s not now, then when?” Angell says.

The City of Marshall says a violation of the ordinance is a class C misdemeanor, and every day the violation continues would be an additional offense.

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