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March 19, 2014

A new blighted property "target" list has been established for the first half of 2014.  Photos are online!  

March 1, 2014

A burned out structure on Grand Avenue has been removed and within two weeks, properties at 478-480 Baltimore Avenue and 100 Independence Street are also slated to be razed!

June 1, 2013

Two additional properties have been razed in recent weeks, including 213-215 Lee Street and 910 Maryland Avenue.  Additionally, the city budget includes $125,000.00 for blight removal for FY '14.  That's another $25,000.00 increase over what we spent in FY '13.  Our blight removal efforts continue and we're getting more aggressive about blight every year!

March 27, 2013

At last, the structure located at 310-312 Independence Street has been razed!  Additionally, demolition is set to begin this week, on the burned out building at 213-215 Lee Street.

March 26, 2013

106 W. First Street has been razed!  Last week, Brabson & Son Demolition took down an eyesore in South Cumberland that has been a point of contention in the neighborhood for two decades, according to neighbors.  Other South Cumberland properties slated for demolition within a few weeks include 910 Maryland Avenue and 627-629 Maryland Avenue.  East Side will see 451 Pine Avenue razed.  And North Cumberland will lose blighted houses at 446 Bond Street, 321 Henderson Avenue, and 100 Independence Street.

March 1, 2013

Another one bites the dust!

The demolition of 27 Ridgeway Terrace is expected to be completed today. The city took ownership of the property in an effort to raze another blighted property, with about a dozen more already contracted out for demolition in the coming weeks, as weather conditions permit.

The property on Ridgeway Terrace had been blighted for many years.

January 22, 2013

Cumberland firefighters extinguished a fire at the blighted property at 106 E. Roberts Street in the early morning hours of January 21.  The house had been severly damaged by a fire in 2011 and was apparently unoccupied.  The second fire completely destroyed the house and will now cause the city to obtain a new bid to have the site cleared of remaining debris. 

January 20, 2013

Four blighted properties that will be bid out for future demolition include 106 Roberts Street, 240 Columbia Street, 311-313 Broadway Avenue (the city owns half of the duplex) and 427 Columbia Street.

January 15, 2013

The City Council voted to accept proposals from Brabson & Son and Dilapidated Demolition to bring down seven more blighted properties in the City of Cumberland. The City has taken ownership of each one over the past few months, most often through tax sales and has invested in the cost of foreclosure on the properties and will now be spending city funds to raze them to improve the neighborhoods in which they exist. Bids were lower than usual, allowing for the City to afford to raze all seven, with five more still bid out for demolition. The total cost of the seven demolitions will be approximately $40,000.

This year, the City budget includes $100,000 set aside for acquisition and demolition of blighted properties. These seven will be coming down in the next few weeks, as soon as the demolition contractors can get cooperation from Mother Nature.

Included among the seven properties are several of prominence, including 446 Bond Street, 321 Henderson Avenue, 627-629 Maryland Avenue (a serious fire all but destroyed the home), 910 Maryland Avenue, 106 W. First Street, 100 Independence Street, and 451 Pine Avenue.

In the upcoming Visioning Session, set for February 7, I will again advocate for another $100,000 be set aside for blight removal in FY'14, which begins July 1, 2013.

January 10, 2013

Several blilghted properties have been razed recently or have been bid out by the city to be razed.

A private developer has been clearing blighted structures from Miltenberger Place and Williams Street near the intersection of Park Street over the past two years, including this recent demolition.

The city is using grant funding to raze two other structures, including 301-303 Columbia Street and 27 Ridgeway Terrace.

October 10, 2012

The City of Cumberland is putting out to bid the demolition of at least ten blighted properties that the city has taken ownership of or is planning to recognize as dangerous.

Another property that has been a continued nuisance at 7 N. Waverly Terrace is now gone, having been razed by the city.  A nice open lot now stands in its place.

October 1, 2012

The City of Cumberland partnered with Cumberland Neighborhood Housing Services to remodel a blighted duplex on Mechanic Street in Cumberland.  The property was fully gutted and restored and is now on the market for sale, to become a tax generating property once again.

Cumberland Neighborhood Housing celebrates 30 years of operations in 2012, all of which has been under the dedicated leadership of the President of CNHS and former City Councilman Pete Elliott.

Congratulations and thanks to CNHS and Mr. Elliott!

October 20, 2011

The former Fulton Myers building on Mechanic Street, is in the process of being demolished to make room for new construction.  The building was the victim of a recent fire and has been an eyesore in Downtown Cumberland for many years.  The building is expected to be fully razed by the end of October, providing for additional development in Downtown Cumberland.

January 12, 2011 

After many years of deterioration, the Klotz Mill, formerly the Tri-State Discount Center and Western Maryland Food Bank, is getting a major and much-needed overhaul.  The blighted structure has already received a new roof, with interior work well underway, to accommodate 42 one, two, and three-bedroom apartments.  A new building, modeled to look like the mill, has also been added on the site, accommodating another 8 apartments.  After a tour of the project, today, I'm excited about the opportunity to make use of otherwise large and blighted structures like this one.  This is just one step toward the kind of revitalization that we need to see and facilitate all across Cumberland.

January 8, 2011

A long-time blighted structure at 7 N. Waverly Terrace is being considered for razing by the City of Cumberland, with the use of CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funding.  Public support for razing this structure is welcome by contacting Cumberland's Historic Planner at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

December 18, 2010 

A blighted structure at 224-226 Grand Avenue and the rear structure on Third Street will no longer be blighted, as they were razed this week. The Grand Avenue property had been in a state of serious disrepair for years. With the help of the city, the property was sold to a neighboring property owner with the requirement that the current structures on the property be razed at the new owner's expense. This is the kind of agreement that I believe is best for the city - the property is returned to private, tax paying hands and is being maintained by an interested citizen.

October 26, 2010

This evening, the Mayor and City Council agreed to sell the property at 224-226 Grand Avenue to a neighboring property owner with the requirement that the current structures on the property be razed at the new owner's expense. This is the kind of agreement that I believe is best for the city - the property is returned to private, tax paying hands and is being maintained by an interested citizen.

September 28, 2010

At the September 28, Mayor and City Council Public Meeting, I stood up in support of ridding the city of a community eyesore and public safety hazard - a house at 224-226 Grand Avenue. The property has been in a state of serious disrepair for nearly a decade with a fire having been recently set in the building and neighborhood children playing in and out of the structure, windows broken out and the doors hanging open. I believe that the public safety component of handling blighted properties is of the most serious level and I fully supported razing this structure, selling the then vacant corner lot for the expected value of $5,000.00, and returning the property to the tax rolls, thereby recouping the costs of razing the structure.

I believe in using public funds wisely for the most basic goals of public safety and providing basic infrastructure. I believe we must always put public safety first and that's why I took a stand for eliminating this blight and protecting the citizens from this potential threat.

September 2, 2010

We must take a more aggressive stand against vacant, blighted properties in our community and encourage revitalization or demolition of these structures. We must implement stricter enforcement of code violations.  We must help those in need, who live in blighted buildings and neighborhoods. We must hold landlords of blighted properties responsible rather than allowing them to prey on the most vulnerable of our citizens.

As a member of the City’s Blight Committee, I have encouraged a more aggressive approach to these neighborhood eyesores.  I have documented over 200 properties in various stages of blight and reported them for code violation review.  I have encouraged increased CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) federal grant funding for blight removal.  Please report blight in your own neighborhood, including trash at the curbs on non-collection days, blighted structures, and unmaintained properties.