Council Gets Demolition Program Moving Again

From the Exponent Telegram  

11/2/2017

City Council members unanimously approved multiple resolutions needed to authorize Clarksburg’s $400,000 demolition program during their Thursday night meeting.

The seven resolutions allow City Manager Martin Howe and Tom Brown of the city’s Code Enforcement Office to enter into contracts with the Clarksburg Urban Renewal Authority for demolition and/or asbestos abatement of more than 80 structures designated as “slums or blights.”

Howe said the resolutions are a necessary part of authorizing the demolitions and securing funding for them.

“The Urban Renewal Authority is the entity that actually awards the bids for these demolitions,” he said. “They’ve awarded the bids, and what council is doing is actually entering into an agreement giving them authority vested in the city to enter in the property — the right of entry — and then as well as the repayment — that we’re the guarantor for the $400,000 loan that the URA took out with MVB bank.”

Clarksburg Mayor Cathy Goings said she is pleased to see progress being made on the demolition program, which has been delayed for several years due to lack of funding.

“I think this is significant to help get rid of slum and blighted areas throughout the city,” Goings said. “We haven’t been able to do demolitions for about three or four years, so I think it is imperative that we get back on track and get rid of these properties. Not only are most of them a health and safety issue, but they entice vagrants and drug activity.”

Council members also approved awarding a contract to Reclaim Company LLC of Fairmont for asbestos abatement and demolition of four structures.

That contract was separate from the others because it is being financed by Tax Increment Financing, or TIF funds, Howe said.

Now that the URA has awarded the contracts and City Council has given authorization, work is expected to begin before Thanksgiving and be completed by year’s end, Goings said.