NEWPORT TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Luzerne County community is taking action to crack down on blighted properties, and it’s not the first time.

Demolition crews tore down two dilapidated homes on Vandermark Road in Newport Township Friday. Officials say it’s a long time coming as they’ve been listed as problem properties for years.

“Those two properties up the street were abandoned since I’ve been here,” said Hugh Beggs, a Newport Township resident.

Hugh Beggs has lived in this community for more than two decades.

Funding from two state grants is being used to pay for the job that’s part of a township-wide initiative to fight blight.

“They’re doing a great job. Glen Lyon, down on Main Street in Wanamie, and up here on Vandermark Road. Doing a good job,” Beggs told Eyewitness News.

Heidi Jarecki is the editor of “Newport Township Community News.”

Looking back on history, she tells Eyewitness News one of the homes was once a speakeasy and the other an apartment complex that housed men who worked in the mines.

This project marks the 16th blight demolition Newport Township has completed in the last year and a half.