As a part of the Blueprint Communities initiative, a group of concerned citizens has been assembled. With the aid of the multiple partners that Blueprint Communities brings to the area, that group will be receiving training to help identify distressed or vacant properties. This "Better Buildings Program," will work with property owners, local government and other resources to either rehabilitate or demolish these problematic structures.
The city of New Martinsville and the Wetzel County Commission worked together to bring down the old Thomas Drug Store building on North Street. That was a big win for our community as that structure was both a danger and an eyesore. For some building, renovation simply isn't possible and in such cases, all that can be done is to raze the structure.
However, many dilapidated building simply need some TLC. Already, some local landowners have taken steps to improve their locations. Recently, the Steelton Plaza, KFC/Taco Bell and Walton Electric have all made big changes to their facades. Other buildings like the Acts Mission Church, the Doolin Center and The Shiben Buildings on Main St have all been the recipients of major work to improve their useful life.
With the proper motivation, funding and community backing, the owners of such structures can rehabilitate them. These buildings can once again serve the community as a whole. However, learning to bring all these resources together is the first step in journey that will take many years to complete.
This process that will take time; identifying, inventorying, prioritizing and ultimately rejuvenating our community, but with the right skills and a passion its integral to achieving the vision of reinvigorated neighborhoods throughout our community. Should you be interested in learning more about this process, or helping to advance this cause, please let us know. We need committed individual who share our dream of a revitalized hometown that we can be proud of.
"Blueprint Communities" is a registered service mark of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh.