Harrisburg Mayor Eric Papenfuse says he will keep his campaign promise to crack down on blight and property owners who are breaking the law.
Papenfuse said the recent arrest of Bishop A.E. Sullivan was initiated after a partial collapse at the church property on 12th and Magnolia streets that he owns, adding that the incident put the lives of neighbors in jeopardy.
According to the mayor, Sullivan was a list of the eleven biggest offenders in the city and had several arrest warrants; he didn't keep up with his repayment plan on his past due fines.
The city evacuated homes in the area. There is no word on when people can return to their residences. They will be allowed to stay in properties owned by the city until the situation is resolved.
Harrisburg officials are taking bids on demolition. The estimated cost of bringing down the church is nearly $200,000.
The mayor is asking people who live in the city to report blight, and they will do what they can do address the problem. Mayor Papenfuse says there are more than 270 homes on the demolition list.