The city of Clarksburg is beginning a spring-cleaning effort, of sorts, as it begins the process of tearing down dozens of dilapidated homes and structures.
Clarksburg city leaders and contractors from Cira and Associates and Empire Builders met Thursday morning to sign paperwork that will take the wrecking ball to some of the dozens of severely blighted properties in town.
“Many of these structures are safety issues for surrounding property owners, so we want to make sure these properties are razed in a timely fashion,” city manager Martin Howe said.
Howe also said demolishing crumbling homes and structures serves to rid the town of some of its many eye-sores, while also restoring pride within neighborhoods.
“It’s like a disease, once these properties begin continue to decrease property values, a great property owner next door, it’s very hard for them to keep their property up, knowing that their property value are not increasing as well,” Howe said.
The nearly $400,000 contract to tear down the derelict structures is an investment the city is making on behalf of property owners.
“Now that we’re back systematically doing these consistently, we’re going to start seeing a drastic improvement within these neighborhoods,” Howe said. “From last year, to this year, into next year, so I think the neighborhoods, the community, the residents and the property owners will really see that impacted and continue to support the project.”
Howe said once the West Virginai DEP’s ten-day notification window ends, contractors have a 30 to 60 day window to finish the project.
Howe hopes to have the 55 structures slated for demolition to be done by early summer. He believes there is another several dozen that could be brought down before the end of the calendar year.