Derelict structures

The Town of Chatham plans to demolish two structures. 

Two derelict structures in Chatham are on the cusp of being taken down thanks to a unanimous vote in the last week’s Growth and Renewal Committee meeting.

Assistant Town Manager Nick Morris stated both the county and the town have inspected two structures in 2019 at 137 Clement and 207 Collie streets and they were determined to be unsafe.

“The structures have been reviewed back in 2019 and designated as hazards and condemned. COVID slowed everything down, but we’re at the end of the process. Once you identify a problem, you go through all the steps to notify the property owner to bring it up to code or demolish it yourself. The town had not done a good job of budgeting to take care of these structures, a lot of discussion but not a lot of movement. Part of it was not thinking of an effective budgeting process. You as a citizen have every right to know how the town is spending the money. It enforces town management to prioritize and be disciplined enough to follow that plan," said Morris.

 “We identify structures we have concerns with and their office (the county) will conduct their inspection to identify if it is derelict or an eyesore; a building inspector will go out to determine that. They have been abandoned for so long. The one on Collie had a tree fall on it. The one on Clement had just years of neglect.”

Morris also stated the town plans to spend no more than $22,000 while putting in $50,000 to the budget for demolishment or rehabilitation of structures.

Morris also stated the town has other properties that has been passed down from will, but abandoned due to the family living elsewhere.

Morris explained what is going to happen prior to taking the structures down.

“We’ll go out there and interview two or three contractors and walk through the site. They know what the cost requirements will be, and we will pick the right one. A letter will be sent out to know what is happening and what the price will be, and the failure to pay will result in a tax lien on your property.”

This will be discussed in the next Council meeting scheduled for Aug. 9.

Staff Writer

Zach McKnight joined the Star-Tribune from Wadsworth, Ohio, as a staff writer. Zach earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from Kent State University. Zach was also awarded 3rd place in Public Safety writing by the Virginia Press Association for 2021.

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