ELKINS, W.Va. – West Virginia State Auditor J.B. McCuskey met with local officials at Elkins City Hall on Nov. 18 to discuss challenges the city might face as it moves forward with tearing down condemned buildings.

Governor Jim Justice and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection announced in September that 21 West Virginia communities will receive over $9.2 million in grant funding to remove abandoned and dilapidated structures across West Virginia.

The City of Elkins received $300,000 in grant funds from the (WVDEP) to tear down condemned houses. The city has identified 12 houses that it hopes to target with the funds. They refer to the houses as the dirty dozen.

The WVDEP’s newly established Reclamation of Abandoned and Dilapidated Properties Program will administer the funding, which will be provided as reimbursement for demolition projects and qualified associated expenses.

“We’re talking about people who are allowing their buildings to become vacant, to become fire hazards, to become havens for drug and meth production, right? So, what the city has to be able to do it protect the people who are paying their taxes and doing the right thing, from people who aren’t keeping up their end of the bargain,” said McCuskey.

According to Elkins Mayor Jerry Marco, letters have been sent informing owners of the city interest in tearing down the condemned houses.