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City Condemns Former Thomas Drug Building

By Staff | Sep 16, 2009

The building that once housed the popular Thomas Drug Store on North Street in New Martinsville has been condemned. This photo of the back side of the building shows the eyesore. (Photos by Amy Witschey)

At Monday night’s New Martinsville City Council meeting resident Deanna McConaughey thanked the building inspector and city for condemning the building on North Street beside the railroad tracks that formerly housed Thomas Drug Store. She asked what would happen next with the building and what kind of timeline she could expect.

Fire Chief Larry Couch said WesBanco holds the lien on the building, so he wrote a letter to the bank outlining his concerns. He said their written response indicated they were just the lien holder and did not indicate they would take any steps to eradicate the danger associated with the building.

He said the posts out front that hold up the porch roof are loose. “Sooner or later it’s going to come crashing down,” said Couch. Also, it was noted that kids stand in front of the building for their bus stop. It was suggested that caution tape be put in front of the building to keep people from walking or standing under the overhang.

Also Monday, council unanimously approved the hiring of Charles “Chuck” Frohnapfel as the city’s new animal control officer.

He was to begin Tuesday at 24 hours per week. There will be a six month probationary period.

This photo shows how one of the supports in front isn’t even connected to the roof over the sidewalk.

“We were just all pretty well satisfied,” said Councilman Joel Potts of the committee’s interview with Frohnapfel. He noted that since Frohnapfel is retired, this will be the first time in a while the city has had an animal control officer available during daylight hours.

“I think he was given a lot of detail on what the city expects,” added Recorder Bonnie Shannon who was running the meeting in the absence of Mayor Lucille Blum.

The council meeting began with a moment of silence for Adam Hommer who passed away Saturday. His mother, Jo Ann Hommer, works in the recorder’s office.

Street Commissioner Gary Willey reported to council that the storm sewer pit on Long Street has been installed. He thanked the water and electric departments for their work on the project. Once they were in the pit, they found several lines that were not marked on any maps that had to be dealt with, making the project more difficult.

He also said the street department is rebuilding catch basins around town, having completed 12 so far. They are also patching streets as the material is available. They put down 40 tons of base material on Monday, but can only finish with black top as it becomes available. The state is doing some local paving jobs and their needs come first at the black top plant.

Relatedly, the street committee will meet Thursday at 6 p.m. to discuss various matters, primarily Anderson Lane.

Finally, Shannon noted that the West Virginia Department of Highways is installing new technology on traffic lights in New Martinsville. They will be putting cameras in to trigger the lights to allow side street traffic to enter state Route 2.