Adkins discusses demolition project

J.D. Charles For Civitas Media

August 25, 2014

Major construction projects at the airport and local roads are not the only high dollar projects that are taking place in Logan County. County Administrator Rocky Adkins noted that the exact opposite will also be taking place here. Adkins discussed the ongoing program designed to get rid of old, dilapidated and abandoned buildings in the city of Logan and across the county.

Adkins told members of the Lions Club of Logan that around 130 or so buildings have already been torn down by their owners but there are plenty more which need to be removed in order to make Logan a nicer place for tourists who come to take part in the county’s economic recovery.

“Tomorrow, I am meeting at 10 a.m. with the abatement company about dilapidating houses,” Adkins said on August 19. “We will start with 25 houses initially. At first 85 owners will be notified and given the opportunity of fixing up the properties or removing them themselves.”

Adkins said the houses will be tested for Asbestos. If the county has to demolish the properties liens will be filed upon them by the county and once they are cleaned up they will be sold in order to recoup the costs incurred in the demolition.

“They will be sold to help fund tearing down more of them,” Adkins said. “Those who own these properties do have the option to fix them up themselves. We don’t want to own these parcels of property. We would rather the people who own them fix them up or take the down themselves, so we don’t have to do it. But most of these parcels of property have sat there unattended for a long, long time.”

Adkins said the whole process had been time consuming and difficult and that right now there is not funding in place to tear them all down.

“That is why we are starting with the first 25,” he said. “We have to start the process and recoup some of our expenses on the first 25 in order to tear down some of the rest of them.”

Adkins said that if the county has to sell the cleaned up properties that neighbors with adjoining property will be given first dibs on purchase.

“We don’t want to own any of them,” he said. “We really would prefer the people who allready own them keep them and clean them up themselves.”

Adkins pointed out that it has taken time to get to this point, noting that the bigger a project is, the longer it takes between the time it is discussed and approved to the time it starts taking place. He noted that it was ten years of meetings before the Hatfield-McCoy Trails opened up, and that because time was a factor on major projects you had to look forward.

“If you don’t plan for 20 years down the road you will be an unhappy guy,” he said.

One smaller project that will get underway soon should pay off in a big way when calamity strikes. Adkins said the Logan County Commission has obtained the old 84 Lumber property in the Peach Creek area, which will be used as a combined Disaster Recovery Center for when major floods or other events strike as well as a home for food pantries and clothing pantries to assist the needy.

“We will be working with the Presbyterian Church about locating their food pantry program there,” Adkins said, adding that other faith based programs that help the needy would be invited to operate out of one half of the facility while the other half is set up for disaster relief to handle major floods, power outages and more.

“We would hope that by having a more central location that people in different churches would feel comfortable coming together there and working together on these sorts of things to benefit the community… Sometimes people of one church might feel a bit self-conscious about stepping foot in another, but this would be common ground. I think it will do well.”

Adkins said one project that is important to many in Logan County is the possibility of providing more substance abuse treatment programs locally. To that end he has been working with people in Louisa and Wayne County to learn more in the hopes that similar in-house treatment facilities can be set up here in Logan County.

Adkins said some spin off projects are already coming out of other big projects such as a new housing development in the Taplin area that has come out of the new road to Man.