Government, Latest News, Preston County

Kingwood asks PCSWA to partner with city for loan

KINGWOOD — The Preston County Solid Waste Authority (PCSWA) is waiting until its Jan. 9 meeting to decide if it will partner with the City of Kingwood.

Kingwood wants the PCSWA to apply for a West Virginia Property Rescue Initiative loan on the city’s behalf.

The $250,000, seven-year loan, through the West Virginia Housing Development Fund, would allow Kingwood to buy and/or demolish dilapidated structures.

The structures must constitute health and safety hazards and be beyond reasonable repair at the time of demolition.

Kingwood Councilman Mike Lipscomb told PCSWA members it recently cost the city about $35,000 to take down a dilapidated building on South Price Street.

“We were lucky with that one,” Lipscomb said. “There was no asbestos and we didn’t have to utilize the court system.”

To qualify for the loan, the town must have a building inspector. It currently does not have one.

“I’ve been looking for someone to do contract work. We currently have four buildings and there will be four or five more than that. We are building up a back load,” Lipscomb said.

He said when people receive letters from the litter control officer about their property, some make arrangements to do repairs and others do not.

“There would be no big issue for us to be the conduit. We would need a letter of understanding if we agree,” Don Smith, who represents the Preston County Commission on the PCSWA board, said. “You would provide us with the information and we would do the application and send it in. We would set up a separate account and we would write you the checks.”

He said the board would review the information about the loan and vote on it at its next meeting.

Smith also indicated litter control grants can be used for dilapidated buildings.

In other business, Terra Alta Mayor Robert DeLauder said the two oil-burning furnaces in the town’s recycling building quit working and cannot be repaired. He said employees at the building are working without heat.

DeLauder asked the PCSWA if it could help with expenses to put in new gas heaters. The board voted to pay for the gas lines for the project, if the town buys the heaters.

Lipscomb also told board members the city is losing money on its recycling program. He said other projects are suffering, “because we are spending all of the money on recycling.” The Dominion Post reported in November that the city has to supplement payments received on garbage and recycling, to support the program.

County Litter Control Officer Jay Sowers said the tire amnesty program is doing well. He said more than 4,000 tires were turned in last month during tire amnesty day.

Sowers said he is working with the State Department of Environmental Protection to get two tire amnesty days a year.

The PCSWA’s next meeting will be 7 p.m. Jan. 9.

TWEET @DominionPostWV