Demolishing and removing abandoned or condemned properties does not happen overnight.

One way to speed that process up is to get everyone on the same page. Local officials and business leaders met to discuss how to best work together.

Today was like a blight summit. People from Carbon and parts of Schuykill County who deal with blight all were in one room which Representative Heffley says has not happened before.

"This provides an opprtunity." said State Representative Doyle Heffley, "We have senators and representatives throughout the region here today for those borough officials to kind of give us some feedback and let us know what we can continue to do to improve the situation in their communities."

Representative Heffley brought people from different corners of the community together. From bankers to borough managers to zoning officers, they discussed what's working and what's not in making their towns successful.

"Every community is different, even throughout Carbon County, and works in one area might work in another area." Heffley said, "And how do we get these properties back on the market to start getting some value out of them again?"

Removing blight can lead to better and more business. Marlyn Kissner from the Carbon Chamber says 22 new businesses opened in carbon county last year, and removing blight can make that number grow.

"If we can really get rid of that blight and really have a gameplan. it's going to help the economy." Kissner said, "It's going to bring new businesses in. It's going to make our local residents really proud of where they are."

State Senator Dave Argall for Schuykill and Berks Counties says the best legislative approach is to play the long game.. instead of making sweeping changes, introduce one bill at a time

"It takes time. It can be extraordinarily painful, but you've got to get started. If you try to do it all at once you're likely to fail." said Argall.

He points out how Tamaqua borough council improved the town's look through the community revitalization zone process. Argall said it took them over a year to complete the paperwork, but it's now paying off.

"It was long. It was painful. but now it means several hundred thousand dollars to them each year in downtown fix up money." Argall said, "And that program goes for 30 years."

There was a lot said at the almost four hour meeting.. There will be a video of the entire event on Representative Heffley's website www.REPHEFFLEY.com.