2017-07-05 / Front Page

Bath survey to ID troubled properties

The Landmark Commission Building Survey Team, an ad-hoc group of local volunteers, elected officials and business and property owners, are conducting a town-wide survey to identify potentially abandoned, dilapidated, or vacant properties.

The survey work will occur throughout July, August and September. The survey and the work of the Team is supported by assistance through the Brownfields Assistance Center at WVU, WV Community Development Hub, and Land Use and Sustainable Development Law Clinic at WVU. The BAD (Brownfields, Abandoned, Dilapidated) Buildings Program is designed to help communities address barriers to the reuse and redevelopment of abandoned and dilapidated buildings.

The ultimate goal of the volunteers is to work with property owners to return abandoned and underutilized properties to productive, positive uses that will benefit the entire town. These uses can include a variety of possibilities, such as new families moving into renovated homes, new businesses occupying underutilized commercial spaces, or new parks and gardens in residential neighborhoods

Shae Strait, BAD Buildings Program Manager says, “The first step to helping property owners get their properties back to productive uses and improve conditions must be a community survey. Without knowing basic, crucial information, such as where these properties are, how many of them there are, or who owns them, we don’t know what steps need to be taken in Bath.”

“Once we’ve completed the survey and have the data, the volunteers will be armed with the information they need to start solving the real challenges facing Bath and its citizens.”

Concern by citizens over the status of buildings in Bath was a major issue brought up in public meetings about the town’s long range plan. “We heard the complaint about dilapidated buildings over and over again,” said Larry Lower, a member of the Bath Planning Commission. “This survey will allow us to begin to address the problem.”

Anyone interested in being trained to serve on the Building Team and work to conduct the survey may contact Team Leader, Ken Craft via email: ken.craft.wv@live.com or leave a message at the Town of Bath office.

Information about the BAD Buildings Program can be found at www.wvbrown fields.org. The Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center is a program of the West Virginia Water Research Institute, located at WVU’s National Research Center for Coal & Energy.

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A very good step in the right

A very good step in the right direction. No potential new investors or residents (either full time/part time/still working/retired) are going to move into an area that looks shabby, run down, neglected, or dilapidated. They will go somewhere else and spend their money somewhere else. Of course, given the narrow-minded and backwards thinking of some longtime residents in the area - that's exactly what they want to have happen!

While not residents of Bath,

While not residents of Bath, we do live nearby and the number of BAD buildings concerns us, too. We're very happy to see the town move on this. Thank you!