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Dismissed By Detroit, Blight Authority Begins Work In Pontiac

DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit's loss, is Oakland County's gain.

The Detroit Blight Authority, which started under former Mayor Dave Bing, was told by the new administration that the city was going in a different direction in handling blight.

That's when Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson reached out to Bill Pulte of Pulte Capital Partners, which heads up the Authority.

Oakland County Exacutive L. Brooks Patterson speaks as a news conference about Pontiac blight removal. (credit: Stephanie Davis/WWJ)

"I had no problem calling Bill, and I said, 'I'd like to see ya,'" Patterson said. "So he came up to my office and I said, 'Listen, I don't know what's going on in Detroit, but we've got some blight in Oakland County

Pulte said they cleared about 1,000 lots in Detroit.

Now, they'll help to revive Pontiac block by block.

"As you can imagine, in the last several years we learned a lot doing blight work in a city like Detroit, Pulte told WWJ's Stephanie Davis and other reporters on Wednesday. "We did a lot of good for the city of Detroit, we did a lot of good for a lot of the neighborhoods, and we look forward to doing that in Pontiac."

Pontiac has 550 properties slated for demolition.

Mitchell Fleming lives on Thorpe Street in Pontiac where the first house was torn down.

"The main thing I know right now: Once these houses get down, it'll be a few less people walking up and down the street that I don't know," he said.

Oakland County and Pontiac are both putting up $3 million apiece — some of that from grants and private donations — to cover the costs.

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