By Kaylyn Christopher
Times West Virginian
Prior to the regularly scheduled Fairmont City Council meeting Tuesday, a work session was held during which council members discussed options for approaching the issue of vacant and dilapidated structures within the city.
City Manager Jay Rogers presented the New Community Investment and Transformation Initiative (CITI). The purpose of the initiative is to address the issue of vacant blighted properties from a proactive standpoint.
“The demolition of these vacant and blighted properties is certainly a high priority and a need that we have, but it also needs to be addressed as to how do we deal with this on a recurring basis or how do we prevent this from being on a recurring basis?”
According to Rogers, there are three main components to the plan: dealing with prevention, dealing with leadership in the community and removing barriers such as vacant and blighted properties. Rogers said that not only do these structures pose issues aesthetically, but they are a public safety issue as well.
CITI proposes that specific measures be taken to alleviate the issue. One major component of CITI would be the creation of a property database that tracks the condition of dilapidated properties. According to Rogers, the inventory of those properties would enable such structures to be monitored.
“We want to track properties so that we can prevent them from going into a deteriorating condition,” Rogers said. “We’ll be less likely to have some of these fall through the cracks.”