Another Major Demolition Contract Awarded in Wheeling WV

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WHEELING — Officials in the city of Wheeling remained focused on cleaning up dilapidated properties across various neighborhoods in town, as this week city council moved forward with another round of demolitions.

Council unanimously approved an ordinance authorizing City Manager Robert Herron to spend $395,837 with Raze International Inc. of Shadyside for abatement and demolition of several dilapidated properties. The funding for the demolitions will come from the city’s Project Fund, which in recent months has been bolstered by federal funding through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act reimbursements. Properties being torn down and removed include: 22 Clearview Ave., 517 Warwood Ave. (damaged by fire), 11 Mt. Wood Road, 121 Kenny St., 131-14th St., 4005 Jacob St. (including a shed), 159 15th St., 161 15th St. (including a garage), 193 15th St., 1218 and 1220 Baltimore St., 110 Ohio St. and 523 and 523 ½ S. Front St.

“This is a large demolition contract which will be another step in revitalizing our neighborhoods,” said Vice Mayor Chad Thalman. Of the total project cost, $92,537 is dedicated toward asbestos abatement, officials said. The rest of the cost is for demolition. “While it’s taken some time to get these properties prepared for raise and repair orders, I’m truly thankful for the citywide teamwork that we’ve employed to really get this work done,” Councilwoman Rosemary Ketchum said. “One of my priorities as a member of city council is to address what we can do to increase resident retention while simultaneously working on increasing the attraction of new folks to the Friendly City. I think we can all agree that addressing vacant and dilapidated properties is a key component to that work.”

Ketchum said she was “incredibly grateful” to the city administration and fellow members of city council for taking on the removal of dilapidated properties as a top priority. “It’s incredibly exciting to see progress made to clean up blight in our neighborhoods,” Ketchum said. “Ward 3 is particularly impacted by the existence of abandoned and dilapidated properties, and our successful efforts to improve overall quality of life for our residence is due in large part to this demolition work. With that said, I am dedicated to seeing that we protect structures worth saving while ensuring we eliminate any and all that present a clear deficit to public wellbeing.”

Councilman Ben Seidler, who campaigned this year on a platform of keeping a laser focus on cleaning up the city’s neighborhoods, said the city has been taking great strides toward this goal in recent months. “The efforts the city has taken to address these issues has been incredible,” Seidler said. “It’s been a great fight, and they’re doing an excellent job.”

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