HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — Today in Huntington, Mayor Steve Williams along with other city officials, made a big announcement concerning some of the city’s most unsafe locations.
In the Fairfield East area of the city, crews began tearing down a condemned building—one of more than 100 structures like it across the city, which officials have set their sights on for demolition by next summer.
“Imagine if you were living next to something like this. That would be a constant reminder of the problems in your neighborhood and it makes your living, a living hell.”Mayor Steve Williams, (D) Huntington, WV
So today, that ‘hell’ was removed.
Officials from the Jewel City announced they are continuing a year-long effort to eliminate unsafe structures throughout the city of Huntington.
“A year ago we had project B.A.N.E.: that’s building and nuisance elimination. And we had over 100 buildings that were torn down all of last year. Right now, there are 119 buildings that are left on the unsafe building list.”Mayor Steve Williams, (D) Huntington, WV
The mayor wants those brought down as well by next June.
For the other city officials present, the risks of leaving these buildings alone became too much.
“You have fire hazards, you have squatters, you have drug activity.Mike Shockley, (D) Huntington City Council District 7
“So by getting these down it eliminates a) the hazard for the first responders but b) it eliminates the hazard for the public because oftentimes they also become dumping grounds so you have large amounts of trash which adds to the fire load.”Mat Winters, fire marshal, Huntington Fire Department
So, to mitigate risks, they are bringing the houses down.
Officials say they believe the demolition of buildings like these will mean a safer—and more prosperous—city for the residents of Huntington.
“This is a victory for their neighborhood, for the property value, for less crime, less health hazards, potential fires, all that.”Mike Shockley, (D) Huntington City Council District 7
“It not only makes it safer, but adds to the quality of life to the neighborhood.”Mayor Steve Williams, (D) Huntington, WV
Right now, the demolitions will be occurring in the Fairfield East area, but crews will be moving all around the city to get the unsafe structures torn down over the coming months.
Officials say they hope to complete the demolitions by June of 2021.