TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) – The City of Tuscumbia has begun a project to demolish and clear 18 different blighted properties across the city.

Blighted buildings are properties that have no use for the community. These buildings drive down property value and can have a large negative impact on the communities surrounding them.

Tuscumbia city council member Geraldine Thompkins told News 19 that clearing these properties gives the city more room for residential development.

“After the blight has been removed, then they can buy the property and redevelop,” Thompkins said. “When it’s all said and done, we’ll have a cleaner, safer, more beautiful Tuscumbia.”

Thompkins also said that the project was possible because of a grant from the state which will pay for 90% of the total cost.

“Without the use of these grants, we wouldn’t be able to move the blight,” Thompkins said. “It would take probably years.”

Thompkins told News 19 that the city will be paying around $360,000 total for this project. It will likely take a few months before each property has been cleared.