Penns Grove mayor makes good on promise to tear down abandoned buildings

The mayor of a Salem County town is making good on her campaign promise to get rid of abandoned properties, evening taking the first swing herself.

News 12 Staff

Oct 2, 2020, 1:23 AM

Updated 1,352 days ago

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The mayor of a Salem County town is making good on her campaign promise to get rid of abandoned properties, evening taking the first swing herself.
“I am a woman of my word. I promised these residents a change and a change they are going to get,” says Penns Grove Mayor Ladaena Thomas.
Thomas says that she does not know the exact number of abandoned buildings in the town, but says that it is over 30.
“People come and take the boards off and they’ll keep going inside of these buildings and their roofs are collapsing and they’ve got debris in there. Glass, broken glass – all types of things, and so, it’s just a hazard,” Thomas says.
The borough got approved for $165,000 to do the demolitions after one property was deemed an emergency demolition. Three more across the street on West Pitman Avenue are coming down this week. Thomas says that she is not stopping there.
“I plan on taking down another building or two if I can before the end of this year,” she says.
Once the sites are clear, the mayor says that the next step is to put them up for auction. She says that her hope is for someone to buy them and invest in Penns Grove.
“It’s my prayer that we can get someone in that’s willing to build some townhouses here and sell them at a reasonable rate to the residents and get some new homeowners here,” she says.


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