WILLIAMSON – At Monday’s regular meeting of the Mingo County Commission, the commission discussed issues surrounding the Abandoned Buildings/Dilapidated Structures (ABDS) Board.
Bob Preece with the Abandoned Buildings/Dilapidated Structures (ABDS) Board, approached the commission stating, “There are a few things I need to discuss with you today.” Preece continued, questioning the status of buildings that the ABDS Board had submitted for demolition.
Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith responded explaining that at least one of the buildings was ready to have a notice of hearing but had been delayed. Smith stated, “The Prosecutors Office had finished the title search, and had the notices ready to have a hearing… They finished the title work on that and we were supposed to set that and I was out of town and John Mark (Hubbard) was out of town and we couldn’t get a quorum to send out the legal notices. We are going to try to schedule that today. Our intentions on that were that we were going to give the property owner the opportunity to come in and present their case as to why there shouldn’t be a demolition ordered…”
Preece also expressed concerns that the delayed progress could result in the ABDS Board losing grant funding. Preece stated, “I just worried if any of our grant funding was in jeopardy. It was my understanding that we had to be able to show something by June.”
Leigh Ann Ray, Mingo County Grant Coordinator assured Preece that grant funding was not in jeopardy. Ray stated, “We are in the process. We just have to show progress.”
Smith agreed stating, “If we show progress, we can get extensions on those funds and they are not in jeopardy.”
Preece also discussed amending the current ordinance in an effort to streamline the current process. “We would like to see our ordinance amended; mainly to keep us from having to keep going back to the property owner. We would like to once we make an initial inspection of that property and we send the letter to the newspaper. We would like to have them come to our monthly meeting. That would save us an amount of time and travel back and forth. Would we need to meet with the Prosecuting Attorney to make those changes?”
Smith responded stating, “The Prosecutor would need to draft that and present it to us. It sounds like a good idea to me and less burdensome on the (ABDS) Board.”
Preece also requested that the ABDS Board be provided signs to place on buildings following ABDS Board inspections. “We need to put a notice on the building that it is considered abandoned and dilapidated and notify the owners and anyone that would happen to come to that property. We don’t have any money to get this done on our own. We have no funds to work with.”
The discussion continued on the type of sign needed. Preece and the commission determined that a weather proof sign was needed that the ABDS could staple to the building considered dilapidated. Following discussion, the commission decided to allow local print shops to bid on the sign project.
(Courtney Harrison is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)