ELKINS, W.Va. (WBOY) — The City of Elkins began the demolition process of several dilapidated buildings last week and has made significant progress as of Sept. 5.

Senate Bill 368 was passed by the West Virginia Legislature in 2021 to create the statewide Dilapidated Properties Program (DLAP) by approving and administering the funds for the demolition of dilapidated properties within participating regions.

Elkins was selected as one of the 22 cities and towns to participate in the program’s pilot phase and was then awarded $300,000 in June of 2022.

Demolition has already commenced for four properties in the city, with another building currently waiting for approval after inspection for asbestos. An additional four properties are also currently in contract, totaling out to nine properties overall.

12 News spoke with Jeremy Deighan, communications specialist for the City of Elkins, on the importance of properly demolishing these buildings.

“We don’t want anything that’s unsafe. Typically, when you have these old run-down places that are boarded up, people do find a way into them. They cause problems, they can have animals, they can be doing drugs or other things we don’t want in the city.”

Deighan then continued on the benefits to come with demolition.

“We make sure it’s a safe environment for the neighborhood and then, of course, it’s going to raise property value. If you have an unsightly structure or anything that is bringing down the value of the community, that actually can help lower property value. When we remove these, we revegetate them and if someone wants to put a new property down there, there’s also the possibility of boosting the economy of that community also,” said Deighan.

You can learn more about the process and the locations of Elkins’ dilapidated structure sites, as well as find other cities and towns affected by the program by reading the city of Elkins’ press release here.