DANVILLE - The town of Danville, at its regular council session on Feb. 5, made it clear that it will continue an initiative that will assist them in identifying and eradicating dilapidated and abandoned structures within town limits.
Nicole Dias, a project manager for WVU Bad Buildings via the West Virginia University Research Corporation, addressed Mayor Mark McClure and the town council regarding what she can do to assist and move their goals forward.
The town has identified about a dozen structures that fall into the category of "bad buildings," with eight of them being identified as priority moving forward.
The town has created an ordinance that they would like to adopt regarding abandoned buildings and dilapidated structures and Dias communicated that she could facilitate a legal team from the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center to review the ordinance.
"We would like to have someone take a look at our ordinance and tell us if there is anything that we need to add or remove before we move forward," mayor McClure said. "I'd feel more comfortable having it reviewed."
Councilman Snuffy Byrnside supported the overview of attorneys on the ordinance for the protection of the town of Danville.
Dias has taken over the Boone County territory from Shai Strait, who was working with Boone County municipalities on the initiative.
In June, the town held a meeting where citizens could ask questions, participate in the process of identifying the properties and have a voice in how the town proceeded.
McClure communicated that one of the properties identified on their list is reportedly in the process of being sold and several property owners have not responded to letters and communication regarding the state of the structures. Another could change hands via unpaid tax-related auction.
"I did notice that in looking over your list of properties that there was one (same) owner on several properties," Dias said to the council. "Do you know if he would be compliant in working with you on this?"
McClure stated that the property owner in question was deceased and the properties are in heirship, further complicating the process.
When a family member or spouse has passed away with no will or instructions on how to disburse their estate, heirship can be sought when a party wishes to make it known that they are the lawful heir of a deceased person.
Dias stated that she will be scheduling a meeting in Boone County that will encompass all of the communities that she is working with and she encourages members of the community to attend. The CVN will provide the information when it becomes available.
Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter