Driving around Genesee County can be overwhelming when we see "what used to be" burned out, dilapidated or overgrown & abandoned.  Having returned home after nearly 15 years away -- it's shocking to see miles of Dort Highway abandoned, overgrown & dilapidated!  Or the old Value City Furniture Plaza at Fenton & Hemphill Roads -- those places used to thrive.  Saginaw Street in Beecher, Genesee Township, Clio... could all use some help!

While I understand people may still own property and not be able to afford upkeep, it's necessary for us as a community to take pride in the place we live.  That includes getting rid of unsafe, abandoned structures and cleaning up blighted property.  Just because we're "used to it" doesn't mean we can't make things look better and be safer for it.

Genesee County Land Bank Executive Director, Michael Freeman told WNEM TV5 there's nearly $40 million to be used throughout the county.  It's not just for Flint -- which is good news for the suburbs!  In all, more than 1,900 structures will be removed. Plus there's money included to maintain these properties for five years after demolition.

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Where are they getting all this money?  A few places:

  • $24M from the American Rescue Plan Act
  • $10M from the Mott Foundation
  • $4.5M from the Land Bank and county treasurer
  • $1M from federal community project funding

Genesee County Land Bank is seeking a few million more to get rid of additional structures  -- Its goal is 2,415, in total.  Need to report blight in the city of Flint--> go here.

While we have an opportunity to start-over and create new things in Genesee County, my sincere hope is our residents will get involved with local government: run for office, join community organizations and help to plan our future for success.  Urban planning is a major opportunity for Genesee County.  If 10 abandon buildings are strung together (Dort Hwy) -- the county should partner with interested parties to remove old buildings  instead of leaving them and building another structure on vacant land a mile away.  It's okay to include rules that set expectations for business & property owners to maintain things they own, too.  Many successful cities around the country do with great success.  It's the responsible thing to do.

More around our community and Michigan

Barge 129 Discovered in Lake Superior 120 Years After Being Shipwrecked

A barge that was shipwrecked by bad weather 120 years ago was discovered at the bottom of Lake Superior by a team working for the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society.

Abandoned Detroit Zoo

Remember the Belle Isle Zoo? Sadly the property has been neglected - and all but forgotten - since its closing in 2002.

WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.

Inside the Spectacular $18M Walloon Lake Retreat in Petoskey

Consider it all Pure Michigan is the form of a home. This spectacular home situated on the iconic Walloon Lake is currently on the market for $18M making it the most expensive home for sale in the state. Although it shares those bragging rights with a rustic Alpena lodge, there is nothing rustic about this 14,000+ square foot home.

From the massive master suite with a drool-worthy closet to the lower level entertainment area with indoor golf, gym, gaming area, and bunk room/ theater room, the home has everything you can dream of. There is even a guest suite with its own kitchen area and private entrance. The outside is just as mesmerizing with a lakeside gazebo, manicured grounds, and a boat house for 2 nautical toys. Round it all out with a garage with space for 4 cars with its automatic lift and heated driveway.

Take a look inside!