City officials targeting blighted property

COLUMBUS — The City Council has appointed a task force to study Columbus’ problem with dilapidated properties and vacant lots.

The Commercial Dispatch reported the request to set up a committee came from Councilman Kabir Karriem.

He said the city needs to closely examine blighted areas and consider the possibility of incentives for redevelopment to return them to the city’s tax rolls.

The council approved his request unanimously.

“We have a lot of areas in the city of Columbus that are just vacant and it’s like they’re dying on the vine,” Karriem said. “I hope that with the minds we have inside the city that we can come together and create some type of programs that will help rebuild our city.”

Karriem, Councilman Marty Turner and Councilman Gene Taylor will serve on the committee along with Chief Operations Officer David Armstrong, city building official Kenny Wiegel, federal programs director Travis Jones, former federal programs director George Irby and code enforcement officer Tamaris Jones.

Other members of the committee include city planner Christina Berry, community resources officer Glenda Buckhalter, Fire Chief Ken Moore and Police Chief Selvain McQueen.

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