Harrison County creates opportunity in blighted areas

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — For the fourth year, Harrison County commissioners have invested $150,000 from the county general fund for blight removal.

Commissioner Patsy Trecost said they want to work property owners to improve problem areas and create economic opportunities.

Patsy Trecost

“We’re doing everything we can to make sure Harrison County looks the way we want it to look and not as a commission, but as citizens,” Trecost said.

Several property owners have initiated the process and have turned property over to the commission. Once the property is reclaimed it can become a green space or even a site for a new residence, Trecost said.

“If we have the ability to take a piece of property, tear down that structure and then sell that piece of property at a cheap price then it creates an opportunity,” Trecost said.

Trecost said it is a several step legal process whether the property owner initiates it. The process can also be initiated through information from the public or through information developed by inspections or visits by county officials.

“Once we do the legal work for that then we go in with our demolition team and we put that out for bid,” Trecost said. “We remove the structure, clean up the property and auction it off.”

Trecost said commissioners are mindful of the cost of materials and are not asking residents to completely remodel structures. He said the property owners will have two meetings with county officials before having the chance to present the situation to the county commission. At the commission meeting the property owner will be asked will it take and how much time to fix the issue.

“We give you every bit of leash we can and then we finally send it over to the circuit court for the judge to make a decision and we have had a couple cases where it has been made by the judge and that is unfortunate,” Trecost said.

Five properties have been removed this year.

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