Elkins Using State Grant Funds to Demolish Properties
Demolition of four dilapidated structures is scheduled to begin this week as part of a grant-funded project to remove as many as nine condemned buildings throughout Elkins. The purpose of these demolitions is to remove unsafe structures, protect property values for neighboring homes and buildings, and encourage economic development.
Governor Jim Justice and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) announced in September of 2022 that $9.2 million of grant funding would be approved to assist municipalities throughout the state with the removal of dilapidated structures, which can be cost-prohibitive for cities and towns. (Read more here.)
The West Virginia Legislature passed Senate Bill 368 in 2021 to allow WVDEP to develop the statewide Dilapidated Properties Program (DLAP), to approve and administer funding to assist local jurisdictions in demolishing dilapidated buildings.
Under DLAP, Elkins was awarded $300,000 on June 27, 2022, as one of twenty-two towns and cities to participate in the pilot phase of grant funding. Bluefield, Buckhannon, Parkersburg, and Thomas were among other cities also accepted into the program.
“Our past budget of $50,000 for demolition expenses allowed us to only take down one or maybe two structures a year,” said Mayor Jerry Marco. “The $300,000 that the State has granted us now unlocks new potential for helping us improve the city. This is a great program that I hope the legislature will continue to support for many years to come.”
Applicants for DLAP were required to provide a list of each dilapidated structure to be removed, including the physical location and estimated cost per structure. The grant award covers costs associated with the removal of the structures, asbestos abatement, landfill fees, stabilization, and revegetation of the property. It also covers costs such as permits, ads, title research, and other fees.
Sites assigned to be demolished in this first phase include:
- 5 Bell Street
- 202 North Randolph Avenue
- 521 Center Street
- 1602 South Davis Avenue
Four other sites have been finalized and expected to move forward in a second phase, with one additional site currently out for bid.
“The Dilapidated Properties Program is enabling the City of Elkins to make real progress in dealing with these blighted properties,” added Mayor Marco. “These improvements are going to play a key role in revitalizing our community, attracting new residents and investment, and making our neighborhoods even more attractive and safe.”
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