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City’s plan to battle blight leaves some neighborhoods out

September 24, 2018 |

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Des Moines city leaders moved forward Monday on a multimillion-dollar plan to revitalize neighborhoods by busting blight, but only four neighborhoods are included.

The Des Moines City Council unanimously approved a $4.6 million pilot program to make improvements to Oak Park/Highland Park, the Drake University neighborhood, 48th Street and Franklin Avenue and the Two Rivers neighborhood.

Cheatom Park Neighborhood Association President Susan Wells said she doesn’t understand why her neighborhood didn’t make the cut.

“They’re stable neighborhoods,” she said. “They don’t have any noticeable infrastructure flaws. The inner-city neighborhoods continually get ignored.”

City officials said the plan comes off the heels of an outside study that says Des Moines needs to focus on stabilizing property values in so-called “middle neighborhoods” — places where the housing market is neither strong nor weak but could begin to struggle if there is more blight.

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