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Jul 8, 2013 8:56 AM by AP/CS

Speed up process of disposing of blighted property

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - With thousands of properties caught in a three-year legal holding pattern, Baton Rouge and other officials across the state want the New Orleans treatment on dealing with blight.

New Orleans already secured a state constitutional amendment speeding up the process for disposing of blighted or abandoned property. Owners get 18 months - instead of three years - to redeem, or reclaim, the property by paying purchase price, costs, penalties and interest.

The Advocate reports House Speaker Chuck Kleckley launched an effort to hold a statewide election this fall, but it failed because statewide elections cost taxpayers $6 million.

Walter Monsour, executive director of the East Baton Rouge Parish Redevelopment Authority, said a coalition of cities supported the decrease in redemption period for blighted and abandoned properties.

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