CLENDENIN, W.Va. — Officials for the Kanawha County Commission and the Town of Clendenin were on hand Thursday morning for a landmark home demolition.
The demolition marked the first home demolition through Kanawha County’s new Demolition Grant program. The new program, which was created in February by the commission, is meant to promote access to demolition resources for citizens of Kanawha County.
“Debris would fall off into the road, it would block the road,” Wheeler said of the structure torn down along Route 4.
“Any day, that home could have fallen onto a car and hurt somebody. If we didn’t act, no one else was. So that’s why we made sure to get it done as soon as possible.”
Wheeler was with Clendenin Mayor Kay Summers for the demolition at 9309 Elk River Road.
An individual may apply for this grant program to tear down blighted structures, while the Kanawha County Commission pays 50 percent of the total cost, a release said. A person must call the county planning and development office to begin the process.
The Kanawha County Commission has dedicated $2 million to the demolition program.
The structure on Thursday was flooded in 2016 floods, Wheeler said and went through several application processes but no one wanted to take care of it.
Wheeler said the commission is working with over 10 property owners at this time. The commission has demolished 54 dilapidated structures this year and has another 50 planned until the end of the year. He said that’s $250,000 into their $2 million budget.
“This grant program will offer half the cost of the demolition. Not only does it get rid of the property and the structure, but it saves the taxpayer money so that we don’t have to pay the full amount at the end of the day,” Wheeler said.
Wheeler added that property usually takes 18 months for the county to get it on the books and for it to be demolished. He said with the agreed-to program, the homes can be demolished in three months.
“That’s a big difference. With how many structures there are in the county, time is of the essence,” Wheeler said.