The City of St. Albans has been selected as one of 22 West Virginia cities and counties to participate in the pilot phase of the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Reclamation of Abandoned and Dilapidated Properties Grant Program.
This grant is good news for St. Albans, as the city will be entitled to reimbursement of demolition costs up to a maximum of $560,000.00, based on the number of structures the city reported on its targeted properties list and associated costs of demolition. Other factors included how many structures the city could demolish during a 12-month grant period.
St. Albans Mayor Scott James and St. Albans Building Department & Zoning Official Marshall Chaney met with WV DEP officials on July 13, 2022, to formalize the grant application process. In early August, WV DEP officials notified St. Albans city officials about the City of St. Albans being selected among the 22 grant recipients.
“We are excited to see the positive impact this grant will have on our city!” Chaney said. “This is a great opportunity for us to continue moving forward in our efforts to address the dilapidated structures and improve the city’s appearance and quality of life for our residents.”
To date, there are 14 dilapidated structures scheduled for demolition as a result of the newly established Demolition Agreement, which assists property owners in the costs of tearing down structures and hauling away the debris. Under the agreement, if the property owner agrees to pay for the haul-off and dump fees for the debris, the city will pay for the demolition fees.
The WV DEP grant will further help clean up the city and make it a more enjoyable place to live. It is also a step in the right direction for economic development, as abandoned and dilapidated properties can often deter new businesses and families from moving into a community.
More About the Dilapidated Properties Grant Program
The “Reclamation of Abandoned and Dilapidated Properties Program” was created within West Virginia DEP by the West Virginia Legislature in 2021. Unfortunately, the legislation did not specify any immediate funding source for the program. In March of 2022, the Legislature approved a transfer by the Governor’s Office of $10,000,000 to launch a pilot phase for the new program. As a result, grants for the reimbursement of demolition expenses for previously targeted structures in 21 selected towns and counties from around the state began in July 2022.
Contact the St. Albans Building & Zoning Department
For more information about the city’s initiatives on demolishing dilapidated structures or the DEP’s Reclamation of Abandoned and Dilapidated Properties Program, please contact St. Albans Building & Zoning Official Marshall Chaney at (304) 722-3386 or mchaney@ stalbanswv.com.