A ‘committee of one’ targets blighted properties in Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Lance Lesueur refers to himself as ‘A committee of one’, with a focus on removing blighted properties near entrances to the city.

“When somebody new comes in this community, they see these blighted properties.”  Points out Lesueur.  “And they cannot make a second first impression.”

Lesueur’s ‘tour de shack’ showcases some of the worst of the worst.

“Tour de shack’, though funny, is something to open people’s eyes up and to start looking at more shacks.”  Says Lesueur.

Lesueur played a role in getting four condemned homes torn down last year.

He estimates it costs an average of 4 to 8 thousand dollars to tear down a home, depending on size and asbestos content.

Tom Bocchi was on the latest tour.

Bocchi says the problem boils down to money.  “The ordinances are in place.  I don’t think we have the revenue to enforce the code enforcement end of the deal.”

Lesueur estimates there are over 2 thousand homes that need to be torn down in Klamath County.  “There’s a blighted map that the county commissioners have – take a look.  It’s amazing, that map, where the blighted properties are in red – it looks like we have a bad case of the measles.”

Bocchi says he hates taxes, but wouldn’t mind paying for a levy to help tear down blighted properties.  “So that each property owner in Klamath Falls contributes to a fund, and only that fund is used for code enforcement – and the tour de shack.”

Lesueur was awarded 50 thousand dollars by the city, and 25 thousand dollars by the county over the summer to help with demolition costs.

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