Charles Town declares building a nuisance

August 05, 1997


Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Charles Town mayor and council declared a vacant building a "public nuisance" at Monday night's council meet, the first in a crackdown promised months ago on dilapidated structures.

The People's Supply on North Samuel Street has sat vacant for years. The town's building inspector described in a letter to the council a series of problems at the building: windows and doors missing, gates left open and trash piled up.

Charles Town Police Chief Mike Aldridge said police officers have been called to the building to get children off the roof.


They had climbed up to the third story roof and were playing on it, posing a risk to the themselves, Aldridge said.

The building was purchased several months ago by David Liskey from the estate of his father after it was sold on the courthouse steps, town officials said.

Liskey could not be reached for comment Monday night.

Charles Town Mayor Randolph Hilton said the building hurts the surrounding property values.

"Abandoned properties pose a real danger to the community besides being eyesores," Hilton said.

Hilton said the neighborhood has been plagued by rodents and the town has had to spend money fighting them.

City Manager Jane Arnett said that Liskey could be fined from $50 to $500 for each of 11 health and safety code violations. They include missing windows and doors, high weeds, tires and pallets around the building, ladders and a trailer parked next to a building providing access to the roof, and a gate on George Street left open, Arnett said.

The council also could waive the fines and require that the money be spent in making repairs, Arnett said.

Hilton said Liskey will have a chance to respond to the building inspector's report at a public hearing at next month's council meeting.

"I'm glad we're doing something about the buildings in town," said Councilwoman Nina Vogel.

Vogel said she hopes that the council's action will send a message to the owners of other dilapidated buildings to get them repaired.

Council members have talked for months about what steps they need to take to require buildings to be fixed up.

Arnett said a letter had been sent to Liskey to correct the problems weeks ago. A few weeds were mowed and some of the trash bags were hauled off but none of the other problems were corrected, she said.

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