POINT PLEASANT — The City of Point Pleasant has sent a letter to the person(s) responsible for a dilapidated building on Main Street, saying they have 48 hours from the receipt of the letter to tear it down or the city will do it for them and forward them the bill.
City Attorney R.F. Stein, told Point Pleasant City Council he’d sent the letter out Monday concerning the building in the 300-block of Main Street. According to city officials, the building has become a public safety hazard to the point where traffic is no longer permitted to pass by the structure and walkers are only permitted to walk on the other side of the street.
The building was a hot topic at Monday’s regular meeting of Point Pleasant City Council. Stein explained to council, as he understood it, the building was in the process of being sold from Alvie Whittington of Alabama to another man, identified as Craig Allman of Parkersburg by City Inspector Jeremy Bryant. Stein said he’d been in touch with the local attorney representing Allman and as far as he knew, though the sale was pending it was not entirely complete. For this reason, Stein sent a copy of the letter to both Whittington and Allman. Again, the letter states whomever is responsible for the building has 48 hours from the receipt of the letter to tear it down or the city will do it and bill them for it.
In addition to the public safety hazard, the building has also disrupted business along parts of Main Street. Mayor Brian Billings said a disgruntled business owner had been to the city building this week though that person did not have a business located in the block of Main Street which has been blocked off. Billings said so far those business owners who have businesses in the closed area have been extremely understanding. Another concern is the upcoming Point Pleasant Regatta which takes place on Main Street and many wonder how that will be affected if the building stays up.
Councilwoman Linda Smith said the city should pursue grants or even a low-interest loan to go into a fund to tear down these types of condemned properties. Then, when the city eventually sells the lot the properties sat on, that money goes back into the fund to demolish more eyesores.
In other council news:
Stein reported he had 45 percent of the right-0f-ways executed and returned to him for the North Point Pleasant Drainage Project. The firm of Shaw and Tatterson will be doing the eventual recording. The city needs 80 percent of these right-of-ways to proceed with the project and secure financing. Council asked Stein what could be done to get the remaining right-of-ways needed? Stein said direct calls were a possibility and as a last resort, civil suits claiming imminent domain. Maps concerning the project are available for review at the Point Pleasant Municipal Building and Stein’s office.
It was also discussed the City of Point Pleasant does not own the parking lot at Sixth Street between the Iron Gate Grille and the former Point Pleasant Hardware. Technically, this lot belongs to the state of West Virginia. At one time the state offered to sell the property to the city for $1 if the city paid to have it surveyed. Council asked Stein to move forward with this and get three bids from surveyors to do the job.
Attending Monday’s meeting were Council Members Barbara Brown, Sam Juniper, Smith, Elaine Hunt, Gary Cotton, Bill Park, Bob Doeffinger, Marshall Bonecutter, James Bowles.
(Editor’s note: This is one of two stories on this week’s meeting of Point Pleasant City Council.)