Wednesday, September 22, 2021 4:09 am

Shope, Superior mayor discuss solutions to ‘urban blight’ in Pinal County

By Aaron Dorman | Pinal Central

PHOENIX — The Copper Corridor, along State Routes 77 and 177, is dotted with small and historic mining towns, some of which are stuck with abandoned or crumbling infrastructure but without money or room to expand or resolve such eyesores.

“Blight happens when you have one building in downtown and all of a sudden no resources to take care of it,” said Mila Besich, mayor of Superior. “Infill development is critical for our communities.”

During a discussion earlier this month about “urban blight” and issues around abandoned buildings and brownfields, state Sen. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, highlighted success stories in his region, Legislative District 8, which includes Copper Corridor cities as well as Coolidge and Florence. While he cautioned against “overreach” by the government, Shope also made several suggestions including creating a vacant building registry that cities and towns could use as a first step.

“The district I represent is a cross-section of hypergrowth and no growth,” Shope said. “These problems have existed in the Copper Corridor for many years but they’re also in almost every community across Arizona.”

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