CLEARFIELD — Officials plan to demolish dilapidated buildings, that they believe are creating a blighted corner at Center and Main streets.
Removing the buildings is thought to be an improvement and could enhance the likelihood of redevelopment, according to a city memo. The city discussed doing this with the owner of the land at 17 N. Main St.
Work is expected to cost $23,000, but officials allocated $30,000 in case additional work is needed.
This action was approved by the Clearfield Community Development and Renewal Agency, which is made up of the city council and mayor, following a public hearing. The work will be paid for through CDRA funds.
City Manager Adam Lenhard said those funds come from development revenues intended to help pay for development. Use for this project is in line with the established criteria, he added.
“We looked at this issue from the city perspective,” Lenhard said. “This is a beautification effort to help the property be more marketable.”
The move is designed to remove unsafe and dilapidated structures, and also will enhance the marketability of vacant property key to improving Clearfield’s downtown. Officials want the downtown area viewed as active, vibrant and attractive, according to the memo.
City staff prepared a detailed study outlining the benefits of city involvement in removing the structures, something Lenhard said needs to be done anytime there is a city-funded improvement on private property in order to determine what benefit there is to the public.
The property is the site of an old salvage yard that has been gone for several years. There are three buildings on the north side of the Center Street overpass that the city council approved for demolition.
“This cleans up downtown,” Lenhard said. “We have talked to tenants who say it is hard to feel excited about development of this property with the existing buildings there. They are dilapidated.
“Having those buildings down will improve the image of downtown and the marketability of the property,” he said.
If the city did not agree to cover the cost, the study states the alternative would likely be that the buildings remain standing and potentially be reoccupied. However, it states that this would not accomplish city goals to revitalize the downtown, as set out in Vision 2020 and other plans.
So, instead of doing nothing, the study states it is in the best interest of the city to help facilitate building removal.
“We are working with the owners of the property to get that land developed and bring in a high-quality project to our downtown,” Lenhard said.