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City razes two nuisance structures on Brockway Avenue

MORGANTOWN — The city of Morgantown razed two nuisance structures on Brockway Avenue this week.

Morgantown Communications Director Andrew Stacy said the city hired Fairmont-based  contractor  Reclaim for the demolition and clearing of 611 and 619 Brockway Ave.

The structures were previously condemned and have been vacant for an extended period of time.

The properties were among several in the Greenmont neighborhood — all owned by Herald Berthy —  that appeared on a neighborhood petition circulated last summer asking the city to take action.

In February 2020, 619 Brockway caught fire. It is believed people were illegally inhabiting the property, which had been condemned since July 2019.

Last March, the city filed suit against Berthy over 619 Brockway, claiming it was an unsafe structure after Berthy filed to comply with a demolition order. 

house on brockway to be demolished
These 2 Brockway houses were torn down in the past 10 days.

Under the 2015 International Building Code, which includes the International Property Maintenance Code — which Morgantown uses — an unsafe structure is defined as one that is “so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, structurally unsafe that it is a dangerous structure.” 

Stacy said the city anticipates the cost to demolish, back fill and clean up the properties at $45,075. He said a lien will be placed on both properties.

Both 611 and 619 Brockway sit within feet of 201 Overdale St., formerly a vacant apartment building, also owned by Berthy, that burned in January 2019. That building has since been torn down.

These properties and others were behind a push out of Greenmont to establish a nuisance house ordinance in the city. Such laws attempt to make absentee property owners take responsibility for repeated criminal violations and unwanted behavior in their properties.

The nuisance house conversation was put on hold last March due to COVID-19.