Members of the Fairmont community met Thursday to talk about a new program that could change the face of the city for the better. The Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center recently gave the city a grant for $10,000 worth of technical support to demolish and restore abandoned buildings.
The BAD (Brownfields, Abandoned, and Dilapidated) Buildings program aims to identify the commercial and residential buildings that do a city more harm than good, then do something about them. The program asks a team of volunteers to take and submit pictures of buildings they would like to see put to new use. The program will focus on the properties that can have an immediate impact on the community.
Kathy Wyrosdick, the Director of Planning and Development for the City of Fairmont said residential buildings may bring back more value to the city than commercial buildings.
"One vacant, dilapidated building brings down the value of homes by 14 percent for that entire block," she said, "so you can see by taking out one home, what kind of impact that would have."
Wyrosdick also said the more volunteers for this program, the more successful it can be.