Carbon County officials say they are beginning the process to implement a $15 fee on deeds to help tackle the blight problem in municipalities.
On Thursday, Commissioners’ Chairman Wayne Nothstein said that a discussion with the solicitor has taken place to begin drawing up an ordinance to implement the Act 152 fee.
He said that officials spoke with state Sen. David Argall’s office since he has helped Schuylkill tackle the blight problem over the years and this fee will help the county leverage additional funding to help municipalities with the blight solutions.
Nothstein said municipalities will need to have blight plans in place to participate in the program once it is introduced and may have to step up to the plate financially a little bit as well.
“We are moving forward with it,” he said, adding that the county does not have a timeline yet as to when the new fee will be implemented, but hoped it would be in the next couple of months.
Last week, the commissioners said that they needed more details on how the funds collected would be distributed and how priorities would be set before implementing the program.
It was noted that Donna Gentile, recorder of deeds, said that she could implement the fee on deeds recorded easily without any cost to the county for set up.
The request to implement Act 152, which allows for the $15 fee per deed recorded, was brought up by several municipalities in February.
Abbie Guardiani, a Nesquehoning councilwoman, served as the group’s spokesperson and urged the board to implement the fee to help municipalities fight this growing problem.
In Nesquehoning, Guardiani has made it her mission to create a blight committee and has since been able to complete a blight plan for the borough.
Nothstein commended Guardiani for her persistence.
“She’s very passionate about this and rightfully so,” he said.