Niagara Gazette — The plan to demolish around 50 houses in Niagara Falls this year is moving along on schedule.
Seth Piccirillo, the director of the city's Community Development department, told members of the city council he expects the first round of demolitions to begin in June during an update at Monday's council meeting.
"We are confident on this schedule, even factoring any delays in the process, that the public will see these houses taken down in June," Piccirillo said. "I expect the completion of the first target area by mid-September."
Piccirillo said the asbestos survey on the first round of houses should be done by the end of April and calculated the bidding process as taking around 42 days.
"We plan to execute two to three additional contracts for different target areas in the 2013 construction season, using January as an end date," Piccirillo said.
The city choose downtown for the first target area because it would be the most visible area and because the city received a grant designated specifically for reducing blight in downtown from the state.
"It was important for us to have downtown as a target area because we wanted to show clear results," Piccirillo said.
Community Development will begin preparing more bid packages — set for other target areas near Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and a larger residential area in the center of the city — as it works to complete the first demolitions, so that there will be no gaps in the demolition process, Piccirillo said.
"Ideally we will have two, and then three, simultaneous contracts," he said.
Councilman Robert Anderson Jr., who has said that demolitions should continue to be a priority for the city, said it seemed as though the process was continuing to run smoothly.
"Anything to do with demolition has to be a positive in this city," he said.