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Kingwood Council discusses condemned buildings

KINGWOOD — One building in particular of the four buildings set to be condemned by the Kingwood Condemnation Committee at its last meeting was the subject of discussion at Tuesday night’s Kingwood Council meeting.

Mayor Jean Guillot said the Herring Building, at 101 S. Price St. — also known as the Schwab Building — was the only building the committee really discussed at its meeting. 

“Three of the four were unanimous. The main discussion was the Herring Building,” Guillot said. “No one wants to see it torn down.”

Recorder Bill Robertson said he’d like to see the building sold to someone who will do something and wants to see the owner do something, noting they’ve been fighting over the building for three years.

Gulliot said he received a letter from the owner asking for 30 days from Dec. 1 to come up with a plan. Councilman Dick Shaffer was in favor of granting her that extension. Robertson said he wanted to see action or at least a plan in writing with timelines. Gulliot agreed and said the town’s lawyer will write the notice, as that’s the only way they seem to get a response.

The fire escape is separated and hanging from the Herring Building, creating an unsafe condition, and part of the top of the building is at risk of falling off. Several years ago, the front was fixed but it’s still not done. There is a fence around the building that makes residents walking on the sidewalk go onto W.Va. 7, Gulliot said.

Councilwoman Karen Kurilko said she called a local metalwork group and they said removing the fire escape would cost $20,000-$25,000 and take about a week because of where the power lines are, which would make the process slow and difficult.

There was also discussion about some kind of scaffolding and netting system being used on the building so people could walk past it safely.

One of the other condemned buildings, 109 Pierce St., which Guillot said was condemned because of a collapsed garage and growth inside, was also briefly discussed at the meeting.

Officer Gina McNemar said it’s not secured, and people have been caught inside several times.

It wasn’t immediately clear who owned the building, but efforts will be made to reach the owner to see about securing it.

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