An article in the July 22 Mirror pats the backs of the legislative body of Altoona for doing such a good job of eliminating "blighted" properties in Altoona.
The author failed to inform the readers of what the numbers really mean to us (the taxpayers). A total of 244 buildings have been demolished since 1995. Yeah!
Not so yeah when you figure at approximately $500 in property taxes per building per year, each year forever being lost.
That 17-year period might represent a loss almost $2 million to date and $122,000 each year forward.
The Altoona Water Authority charges $39.59 per month minimum for water and sewage. The demolitions represent a loss $115,912 a year or $1,970,631 to date. Who's going to pay these losses? Guess!
Altoona legislators boasting about demolishing an average of two homes a month from now on is not to be celebrated.
Within the article (not surprising) was the absence of the number of new houses being built in Altoona. You would have to demolish about three houses in a row to be able to build one new one under today's new building codes.
If Altoona has $400,000 to demolish two building a month at $7,000 per building, why not set that money aside for grants or low-interest loans to help rebuild the salvageable structures.
What about the families who lived in the properties? With today's families averaging four per household, 976 people have had to relocate.
Where, you ask? Not in Altoona.
This drop might mean 488 students will not go through the Altoona Area School District. The declining graduating classes prove this.
Altoona has (through ill-thought-out ordinances) created a low-wage, high-rent local economy. If this continues, the Altoona legislators could run this city into bankruptcy.
Oh, yea, I forgot.