Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
P. O. Box 3711
204 Broad Street
Martinsville, Virginia 24115
Toll Free: 800-234-6575
Property demolition sought
Council to weight pool, two others
Grass is overgrown and pool water is standing at the old Druid Hills Pool at 763 Indian Trail. Martinsville City Council on Tuesday will consider adopting an ordinance to declare the property and two others to be public nuisances so they can be demolished. (Bulletin photo by Mike Wray)
Monday, September 10, 2012
By BULLETIN STAFF REPORTS -
Martinsville City Council on Tuesday will consider adopting an ordinance to declare three privately owned properties to be public nuisances so they can be demolished.
The properties are the old Druid Hills Pool at 763 Indian Trail and residential structures at 125 Askin St. and 122 Summit St., a council report shows.
Interim City Manager Leon Towarnicki on Friday did not have a list of the property owners’ names.
According to the report, however, the entity that owns the swimming pool no longer exists and there have been “continual issues” with standing water, mosquitoes and soil erosion on the property.
The abandoned pool is dangerous, according to Towarnicki.
“Basically, it’s an open pit” roughly 10 feet deep in some spots, he said. Children or animals that wander onto the property could fall into the pool, especially if it is covered by leaves and other debris, he added.
The Askin Street property has been condemned because it is structurally unsound and unable to be repaired, according to the report. Parts of the structure are open to the elements and unsecured, and people may have stayed there despite its condition, the report shows.
The Summit Street property also is condemned, having been extensively damaged by fire, and it is open, unsecured and hazardous, the report says.
A proposed ordinance that the council will consider states the properties must be demolished within 30 days after it is officially adopted. The city hopes the property owners will pay the demolition costs but if that does not happen, the city will pay the cost.
The council will consider adopting the ordinance on first reading when it meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the municipal building uptown.
If it is adopted initially, adoption on second reading — which would make it official — probably will be considered during the Sept. 25 council meeting.
Most city ordinances are adopted after two readings. Towarnicki said the nuisance property ordinance could be adopted after one reading if council members determine that an emergency exists.
Other agenda items for Tuesday’s council meeting include:
• Hearing a report on state industrial revitalization grant funds that could be made available to the city for revitalizing the former Henry Hotel.
• Hearing a monthly financial report as well as business from the floor.
• Presenting a proclamation commemorating the 225th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution, as well as proclamations related to the Day of Service and National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week.
• Meeting in closed session at 7 p.m. to consult with legal counsel, discuss possible appointments to local boards and commissions and consider an economic development matter pertaining to a specific company.
Upon going into open session at 7:30 p.m., the council will take a recess and reconvene as the Martinsville Redevelopment and Housing Authority to consider a resolution pertaining to the Section 8 housing program.
The resolution, which must be adopted each year, declares that the city is administering the federal housing program properly.
The council then will reconvene as itself.
Also, the council will hold a neighborhood meeting at 7:30 p.m. today at Forest Hills Presbyterian Church on Beechnut Lane. Such meetings are aimed at helping area residents who cannot travel to the municipal building uptown voice their opinions on city issues of concern to them.
Council members will tour the Druid Hills and uptown areas in a van at 5:30 p.m. to observe conditions there.