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Reno To Tackle Blight With New Fund

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  Reno is gearing up to combat blight more aggressively, targeting some of the worst properties downtown. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey has more.

Mayor Hillary Schieve says she's serious about getting rid of eyesores, earmarking $1 million for a new blight reduction fund.

The city already has a dilapidated motel in its cross hairs. The Golden West Motor Lodge across the street from the Circus Circus hotel on Virginia Street could be first to meet the wrecking ball.

Schieve says the Recession slowed their progress.

"We're trying to play catch-up right now, but I'm very excited about Operation Downtown. It's a strategic plan to make downtown thrive again, and I've been very vocal that if we have to demolish buildings to get there, we will do it. "

The mayor says they're adding seven new code enforcement officers early next year. The city is already scouting for some of the most egregious problem properties. The goal isn't just to penalize property owners, but to help them, too.

Tomorrow (Saturday), Councilman Oscar Delgado is leading a volunteer clean-up in his ward, and those events will continue throughout the year providing free trash pickup and maintenance for residents.

Julia Ritchey is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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