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Property Plague

By Staff | Feb 24, 2010

Dilapidated buildings and junky properties seem to be a constant problem not only in Wetzel County, but across West Virginia. The reasons are almost as numerous as the sites.

Of course the current economic and job climate can be a contributing factor. Then there are properties left to heirs who just don’t want to part with their homeplace, yet also don’t want to care for it. And there are always those who just can’t or won’t keep their areas clean.

The plague is certainly a problem, but the harder part is that there isn’t an easy solution.

Local governments can clean up the properties, but who bears the cost? Sure, the property owner is the easy answer, but as the saying goes, “It’s hard to get blood from a turnip.” When a property owner doesn’t have the wherewithal to keep up their lot, how are they going to pay for the necessary improvements? Local government just can’t bear to absorb the cost.

It is a difficult question with no easy answer. At every New Martinsville council meeting the issue is addressed and Building Inspector Joe Hanna says they are working on the problem. It just isn’t going to happen overnight.