The Times West Virginian

Local News

September 30, 2013

Mannington officials taking ‘aggressive attitude’ toward dilapidated buildings

MANNINGTON — Mannington mayor Jim Taylor said he is tired of dilapidated buildings in the city.

“Enough is enough,” he said.

Taylor said the city has been and will be taking action on those who do not take care of their property.

“It’s really not fair to those who care about their property to have to take a loss on their home when they sell because their neighbors let their property become uninhabitable,” he said.

Not only has Taylor been noticing properties with overgrown landscape or broken windows, but he said the city gets between 10 and 15 calls a month from residents complaining about the conditions near their homes.

“The property owners have just walked away from their obligations to keep their homes up to code,” Taylor said. “What’s a shame is people have to look at these deplorable conditions every day, and that’s just not fair.”

Taylor said city officials and Mannington’s code enforcer have been going from neighborhood to neighborhood in Mannington, but he said that doesn’t work. Instead, Taylor said they are going to focus on one area of the city, get it cleaned up and then go to a new area.

“We will still address calls that pose an imminent danger or a health hazard to our citizens immediately,” he said.

Taylor said the city will be issuing summons to those who own property that is not up to code.

“We are going to take an aggressive attitude toward those who don’t care what they’re doing to this city or their neighbors,” he said.

It’s not only residents’ property that Taylor and the city will be working to bring up to code, but buildings owned by the city will also be taken care of.

“As a city, we have an obligation to take care of what we own also,” Taylor said.

Taylor said it’s a long process to demolish an abandoned structure.

“There’s bidding of contractors, asbestos studies and money to be required, which is very difficult to get for those projects,” he said.

Taylor said there are two abandoned buildings in Mannington, owned by the city, that are in the process of being taken care of. He said when they finally get cleared out, he is uncertain what will be built on the property.

“We have started these processes and hope to deliver on our end as a city that takes on its responsibilities to itself and its citizens,” Taylor said.

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.

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