SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – Big changes are coming to Sharon. The city has several revitalization projects in the works.
Sharon is preparing to spend $2 million to revitalize one of the corridors on the Ohio-Pennsylvania line, but most of the money is coming from grants.
The reconstruction starts with Irvine Avenue as you first come into Sharon. The city is still in the planning phases, but said it will be ripping out part of the street and laying down new road, as well as fixing sidewalks and curbs.
New welcome signs will also be going up.
The goal is to make this part of the city, which acts as a gateway into downtown and the state, an inviting place.
More importantly, perhaps, is making the city safer for pedestrians.
“The road isn’t in horrible condition, but the facilities connecting the roads are. The curbs and the sidewalks are very much impassible,” said city manager Bob Fiscus.
Road construction isn’t the only major change coming to Sharon.
Across the city, there are about 300 vacant houses. Officials said the houses don’t have any responsible owners and have been left to decay. Many are condemned, boarded up and falling down. Some have fire damage and broken windows.
Sharon plans to remove all of them in the next two to three years.
Fiscus said many of these houses fell into foreclosure during the mortgage crisis of 2008, but the bank never took ownership. For years — and some for over a decade — no one has been keeping up with these houses.
Having them around can be unsafe because they tend to attract crime.
“Our neighborhoods are a priority right now. They’ve been on our radar for years but at this point, the actions are in place to be able to remove them all,” Fiscus said.
We don’t yet have a timeline for when construction will start.