ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The City of Anchorage is working to get rid of eyesore nuisance properties for good, and on Tuesday the Anchorage Assembly established an abatement fund for use across the municipality.
The assembly opened the ordinance for public testimony at Tuesday’s regular meeting -- the main question from the public: How would a nuisance property abatement fund be funded?
According to the ordinance, the fund's revenue would come from fees paid by owners of vacant nuisance buildings, along with any proceeds from foreclosures. It would also establish a foreclosure registry through the Department of Law.
The Municipality says it doesn't take a huge amount of money every year to make a significant difference in reducing nuisance properties. Anchorage resident Tom McGrath has been working to fix what he calls a nuisance property issue in the city for almost two decades, and he’s skeptical.
"Unless you fund this ordinance, why do it?” McGrath asked the assembly. “We have to have some funding, so that when there's a complaint like the one in 2005, someone can actually go look at it and get it from there, to the hearing officer, to action."
Municipal Attorney Becky Windt Pearson had just the answer McGrath was looking for: the problem will pay for itself.
"What we suggest is to try and create a dedicated fund, directing some of these revenues that come directly from this problem into a fund that can be used in order to continue this kind of work,” Pearson said.
Assemblyman Christopher Constant confirmed that after extensive deliberation, the assembly voted to pass the ordinance creating the nuisance property abatement fund. He says it will provide better tools for all municipal departments to address nuisance properties.