Cumberland Times-News

November 3, 2013

Officials have contacted railroad in effort to clean up blighted property in Ridgeley

Elaine Blaisdell
Cumberland Times-News

— RIDGELEY, W.Va. — Former Ridgeley Mayor Jim Twigg has made several formal complaints about trash at the intersection of Williams and Perry streets and turned them in to Bill Shepherd, code enforcement officer and housing commissioner.

The blighted property is owned by CSX and the town has been in contact with an official at the CSX headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla., about cleaning up the intersection as well as several other properties in town, according to Mayor Lynn Carr.

“So far, they haven’t made any steps toward cleaning it up. I don’t want any hard feelings with CSX and the (Western Maryland) Scenic Railroad. I hope they respond to the request,” said Carr.

A few years ago a vacant property ordinance was passed that requires owners to register vacant buildings within 30 days, according to Carr. At some point if the vacant building is not torn down or repaired the owner can be fined up to as much as $400 with additional fines of up to $200 a year. The owner of the vacant building is given two letters before receiving a fine.

“We try to be fair but we have got to draw the line somewhere. Bill has been in contact with almost all the owners,” said Carr. “Some (properties) are tied up with the state. We have taken upon ourselves to cut the grass and the weeds at some of the properties.”

Citizens can fill out complaint forms listing issues they see with vacant buildings.  

The steps and the outside of Town Hall have been fixed and repainted, respectively, ac-cording to Carr.

“We make continual repairs to the Town Hall. We have to keep our house in order if we expect citizens to keep their house in order,” said Carr.

“Town Hall looks really nice,” said Twigg.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.