COAL TOWNSHIP — Ed Christiano, housing authority director, and Pat Mack, former Northumberland County planning director, were recognized by Coal Township supervisors for their efforts in obtaining grant money funding the legal battle and demolition of eight blighted properties owned by the Kolody family.
Proclamations were given to Christiano and Mack at a special meeting Monday night held to approve bids on the demolition on the properties. Work is expected to begin in January.
Craig Fetterman said the road to the demolition has been long.
“This is 10 years in the making,” said Fetterman, remarking on how the battle to clean up the Kolody properties began when he first joined the board of supervisors.
The eight Coal Township properties and four in the City of Shamokin sat vacant and dilapidated for years, sometimes causing damage to adjacent homes. After becoming frustrated with the Kolodys’ lack of response to code citation and court orders to make repairs to the structures, officials from both municipalities teamed up last December to file a conservatorship petition under the Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act.
Fetterman said Christiano was instrumental in helping Coal Township acquire a grant to fund the demolition, which will cost $43,178. Mack worked to get the township a grant to pay for legal fees, he said, which allowed the case to proceed. The two municipalities spent more than $4,000 just in legal serving fees, which was covered by a grant.
Fetterman also recognized representatives from Shamokin City and both municipalities police forces, many of whom were present at the meeting to hear the unanimous vote to accept the demolition bids.
“This is a great example of what can be achieved when the government works together,” he said.