WSAZ - Local News and Breaking News Coverage for West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky

UPDATE: Dunbar City Council Votes to Impose Fee on Abandoned Building Owners

By: Jennifer Rizzi Email
By: Jennifer Rizzi Email

UPDATE 2/19/13 @ 11:55 p.m.
DUNBAR, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Dunbar City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday that forces property owners to either fix up vacant and rundown buildings or sell them.

The owners will have to pay a yearly fee until the buildings are cleaned up.

Officials have said the empty buildings are a breeding ground for crime and a black hole for public funds, requiring lots of attention from the police and fire departments.

The ordinance is an amendment to the city's Home Rule law.

It goes into effect in 45 days.



ORIGINAL STORY 2/5/13
DUNBAR, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- City leaders in Dunbar say abandoned houses are a big issue that compromise public safety and cost thousands of taxpayer dollars.

"We have a lot of vacant buildings in this city and we've spent a lot of money trying to take care of these vacant buildings," Mayor Jack Yeager said.

Officials say the empty buildings are a breeding ground for crime and a black hole for public funds, requiring lots of attention from the police and fire departments.

That's why they're planning to impose an annual fee on abandoned building owners that neglect to improve or sell their property.

"We're passing the ordinance so that we can require those building owners to share in the cost of providing fire protection and police protection for those buildings," Yeager said.

The ordinance is modeled after one passed in Wheeling, W.Va. three years ago. Officials there say they've seen the number of nuisances drop since then.

Dunbar City Council will vote on the ordinance in two weeks. A public hearing will be held before the meeting.

Officials say it's unclear right now how much the owners would have to pay.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 189768881 - wsaz.com/a?a=189768881