The fight against blight in Wheeling

Ohio County

Wheeling, W.Va. (WTRF) – Economic blight is defined as the visible decline of property in a neighborhood or city, and it’s a problem in towns and cities all across the nation.

It can become a major complication in a smaller cities such as Wheeling due to the large number of older buildings.

Third Ward Councilwoman Rosemary Ketchum says that in her short time on council there has been as many as three building collapses in the city.

She says the decline of residential and commercial properties presents a public heath hazard to surrounding communities.

That’s not to mention other economic factors such as declining property values.

She is urging city leaders to work closely together to find more effective and efficient ways to combat the problem.

I think it’s a discussion about whether we need additional legal staff to address the legal component or the legal side of these. We also have a Building and Planning Commission Department that I know does incredible work. But perhaps we can find ways to assist them and to support them in perhaps hiring additional staff.

Rosemary Ketchum, Wheeling City Councilwoman

Ketchum says funding and supporting the demolition of vacant and run down properties will be the keys to combating the problem.

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