Calumet makes push to better enforce its blight ordinance

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CALUMET, Mich. (WLUC) - The Village of Calumet is looking to take care of issues involving blight in its community. The push to start enforcing their blight ordinances came after residents have issued complaints about nearby buildings.

(WLUC Photo)

"A lot of our residents are concerned about cave ins, and buildings being collapsed and taking down a building that they own and have taken care of for a while, or that they've invested money in. Other people have just gotten a new building and they're also concerned about cave-ins," said Caleb Katz, Calumet’s Village Manager.

The village has partnered with a law firm that specializes in municipal law to help with enforcing the ordinance.

"After contracting with Kendricks & Bordeau Law Firm, they've set up a nice sheet for us and a plan we can follow to enforce it to its fullest potential," added Katz.

Some village members feel that the lack of prior enforcement has led to an issue where blight has become the norm.

"We see coming out of not regularly enforcing our ordinances is that it becomes common place, regular, and normal, to not maintain properties. We don't want that to be the norm in our community," said Leah Polzien the Chair of Calumet’s Downtown Development Authority.

Moving forward the village will be working with their contracted law firm to let property owners know when their property is violating the ordinance.

"Essentially, we investigate the property, take pictures, make a report out about it, and create a file. After that we send out our 21 day violation of blight ordinance letter, which pretty much lays out what's wrong with the building and what needs to be fixed," said Katz.

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