Is expensive new material the answer to Toledo's neighborhood bl - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Is expensive new material the answer to Toledo's neighborhood blight?

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For two years a home stood vacant on Maxwell street in Toledo with its windows boarded up with plywood.

Next door neighbor Janet Lilje says it is an eyesore. "It just looks terrible. All the time it gets worse and worse." She says the rundown property hurts everyone. "It's very frustrating because we would like to move, but I can't even think bout putting my home up for sale with this eyesore next door."

Now the house has a different look, thanks to a product called Secure View Windows. The transparent product is similar to Plexiglas, but much stronger. It is meant to keep potential intruders out while increasing curb appeal.

Toledo City Councilmen Tom Waniewski and Mike Craig spearheaded the project in hopes of battling blight.

Waniewski said,  "I would like to see this instead of putting plywood on. Put this product on and instead looks great for neighbors, retains property value and provides a better aesthetic.

The catch? Secure View costs $100 for a 4' by 8' sheet. Plywood costs about $8.

Blight Abatement Team Manager says cost is a big issue.  He says last year the city spent more than $17,000 boarding up homes. However he also admits, "There are a log of products that could be used at a much lower cost and get the same results. In the Central City where we are doing so many demolitions, the cost, it probably can't be justified."

Neighbors on Maxwell Street say they want to keep their neighborhood looking nice and are happy with the temporary fix.
 
Councilman Waniewski says his next step is to talk with the City about ending contracts with plywood companies.
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