POINT PLEASANT — The city of Point Pleasant continues to pursue avenues to clean up dilapidated properties.
The city is participating in the West Virginia Housing Development Fund’s West Virginia Property Rescue Initiative. The state has allocated $1 million a year, total, for five years, into a fund from which communities can borrow to deal with the properties. These funds are on a first come, first-serve basis. These would be low-interest loans and the city would eventually have to pay back this money.
Program loan amounts may not exceed $250,000 per eligible borrower per each fiscal year. Loan payments can be deferred for the first two years, then are at 3 percent interest at year three, 4 percent interest at year four and 5 percent interest years five through seven.
The program is designed to give cities, counties and other eligible borrowers the ability to perform demolition and/or acquire residential structures. Deconstruction of such properties is permitted. These structures must constitute health and safety hazards. The demolition of these structures will provide much-needed vacant lots in local communities throughout the state. In most cases, these lots already have the necessary infrastructure making the lots ready and accessible for future development.
Eligible properties must constitute health and safety hazards and be beyond reasonable repair at the time of demolition.
David Rinehart, area manager of the fund, recently appeared before Point Pleasant City Council to discuss the program. Mayor Brian Billings is attending training for this program on Oct. 9 at WVU Tech. Though this is a revolving loan option, it is an option to deal with these types of properties which the city hears so many complaints about. Billings said city government definitely hears the voices of residents and is attempting to explore every avenue to get these properties addressed.
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