City of Elkins Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer Phil Isner is hoping residents will come forward and register any vacant structures they may own.
Isner said no vacant structures have been registered.
"Council passed the ordinance in September 2011," Isner said. "People were supposed to register their structure if it has been vacant for more than 30 days. I haven't had anyone register."
Isner said if people fail to register a vacant structure there could be a $100 fine.
"There is no charge for registering the structure for the first year," he said. "I can provide copies of the ordinance. People need to know this is out there."
According to the ordinance, any building or structure is be deemed vacant if no person "actually, currently conducts a lawfully licensed business, or lawfully resides, dwells, or lives in any part of the building as the legal or equitable owner(s) or tenant-occupant(s) or owner-occupant(s) or tenant(s) on a permanent, non-transient basis."
Any building can be deemed vacant and subject to registration and fees under the ordinance if the exterior maintenance, the major systems of the building and the surrounding property are in violation of health or sanitation codes and if there is no proof of utility service without more than one 30-day interruption in any year.
The fees include $200 for properties vacant for at least one year; $400 for two years; $600 for three years; $800 for four years; and $1,600 any property vacant for at least five years plus $300 for each year in excess of five years.
Isner estimated there are anywhere from 40 to 50 vacant structures in the city.
"If I have to go our and find them, there will be a fee," Isner said.
For more information on the ordinance, contact Isner at 304-636-1414 extension 1431.
Contact Anthony Gaynor by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.