Several property complaints were addressed by Buckhannon City Council members Thursday evening through residents present at the meeting and letters sent to City Hall.
The saga of property located at the intersection of Tucker and Ritchie streets came before council once again, and appears to be progressing towards a positive conclusion.
It was reported Carl Tenney has received his certification from the state to allow him to remove asbestos from the building before it can be torn down. Tenney told city officials he intends to raze the structure once the asbestos has been removed. Tenney has received a letter from the property owner, Bob Stell, stating he has permission to tear the building down.
Trees and other vegetation have been removed from the property as the cleanup continues.
Mayor Kenny Davidson said the city will allow Tenney to continue to his cleanup as he is continuing to progress as part of negotiations to remedy the property situation.
Area residents have noted a multitude of safety issues regarding the property, including broken glass, children having access to the inside of the structure and asbestos, among others.
Council also received a letter from a concerned resident regarding property located at 32 Meadow St.
According to the correspondence, the residents there have constructed what is referred to a shack, without any construction permits from the city for the project.
In the letter, Reta Ostrowske also asked for some relief to be given for high water during heavy rains that cause her to have to wade through it to get to her garage.
"I would appreciate some action on these matters or maybe I need to get the Public Service Commission, Department of Natural Resources environmental department involved, as I believe there (are) some health hazards," Ostrowske said in the letter.
A letter from Idress M. Gooden, RESA 7, was presented to council, in which Gooden shared her dismay at City Attorney Dave McCauley's referencing making a "hit list" of the work properties in town to get them cleaned up. Gooden outlined a number of factors that lead to properties falling into disrepair, including generational poverty.
Gooden suggested utilizing community programs to gain positive outcomes on property issues.
Council noted most property owners and renters want to keep up their properties and do the right thing. There is, however, a small percentage who prefer to not do the right thing, and this is when such actions need to be taken to encourage compliance.
Council is mulling the possibility of a state-allowed ordinance to place fees on vacant building within the corporate limits to develop a nest egg to deal with these situations in the future.