YOUNGSTOWN - Don't be surprised if you see the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. come to you in 2013.
The YNDC can go mobile, thanks to its new ''Blight Eradication Vehicle'' that hit the streets this month.
The truck was donated to the YNDC by Schewbel's Bakery. Tiffany Sokol, an officer manager for YNDC, said the truck will be stocked with tools and other supplies to help repair, landscape or demolish vacant properties in the city.
The YNDC is in the midst of a fundraising drive to get the truck repainted and fixed up. So far, they have raised $2,500 of the $3,500 needed.
Launched in 2009, the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corp. works with the City of Youngstown and The Raymond John Wean Foundation to improve neighborhoods throughout the city. Targeted neighborhoods have included Idora, Crandall Park North and Lincoln Park.
Ian Beniston of the YNDC said the group helped repair more than 100 houses this past year. The YNDC grew a lot and received about $3 million in revenue, he said.
A priority for 2013 will be the farm project they are doing on Canfield Road near Glenwood Avenue. A home on the property is being remodeled and will be used for classroom space, and produce will be planted there as well, Beniston said.
Beniston said the biggest change in 2013 will be the increase in helping to develop plans tailored to specific neighborhoods. He said the YNDC recently added a planner to help expedite that process.
Sokol said efforts like the new truck can help the city fight its ongoing battle against blight.
''The city can't keep up with the number of houses that need torn down,'' Sokol said.
The vehicle is all part of the YNDC's ''Stand Up And Fight Blight'' effort, which aims to get rid of vacant and blighted properties as quickly as possible, Sokol said.
She said there is a group in Detroit that has a similar vehicle.
Mayor Charles Sammarone has said he wants to demolish 1,000 vacant buildings by the time he leaves office at the end of 2013.