From the Desk of Mayor Callaway - May 2013
of the most frequently asked questions of municipal officials in West Virginia
is, “when are you going to tear down that old house?” That is a good question.
However, there is not a simple answer.
Here are a few of
the issues that the governing body faces in dealing with private property.
First, it’s private property. No one can go on private property without being
invited by the property owner. Access for the purpose of inspecting the
property becomes a problem. To compound the problem many times the property
owner can’t be located. At that point a deed search is conducted. The next step
is to locate the owner or owners of the property. Many times the property is
being held captive in probate. After these problems are overcome, an inspection
will be conducted by our certified building inspector, who will issue an order
for repairs that must be made or in extreme case an order for demolition will be
posted. If the property owner can’t or will not address the citation or order,
the case goes to court.
Many times owners
cannot be found. In that situation, newspaper notification advertisements are
run for a period of 21 days asking interested parties to contact the city. If
no one responds to the notification, the city will start court proceedings to be
allowed to take the property down. If the court issues the order to proceed,
then the demolition testing and work can begin.
that cities face when taking down houses, is many of the properties have
thousands of dollars in liens filed against them. In a situation where there
are liens, the municipality will be held responsible. The municipality must pay
all the legal fees, demolition cost, and disposal fees when removing a house or
building. Most all of the “when are you going to tear down that old house”
questions end up in court and will cost municipalities thousands of dollars.
These are a few
of the reasons the West Virginia Municipal League worked diligently with the
state legislature during this recent legislative session to have the “Home Rule”
Legislation passed. As President of the West Virginia Municipal League, I wish
to express my appreciation to all the citizens, legislators, mayors,
councilpersons and our excellent League staff for a job well done in getting the
legislation passed. St. Albans now has the opportunity of becoming a “Home
Rule” city. The new legislation allows municipals the ability to create laws
crafted to address problems faced by local communities, such as property issues.
presentation of a U.S. flag that had flown over the nation’s Capital was held on
Friday, April 19, 2013 at St. Albans Rosie the Riverter Park. The flag was
presented to several ladies who once served our nation in a time in a time of
war. Travis Mollohan and Sara Payne Searbro from Senator Joe Manchin’s office
made the presentation. Senator Manchin commented “I am honored to serve the
great people of West Virginia in the U.S. Senate, and join the City of St.
Albans as they honor all the hard-working woman who served our nation in World
War II.” Manchin continue his remarks by stating, “This flag shall fly high
above St. Albans as a reminder of the dedication and sacrifice of all of the
Rosie the Riveters in St. Albans, across the Mountain State and throughout the
United States of America.”
community let us all work together to make 2013 the best yet!
A Welcome from the Mayor
Dick Callaway wishes to welcome you to our fine city. Mayor
for the City of St. Albans is:
To provide financially sound city and municipal utility commission
operations while delivering quality service, and bring together all
community resources to revitalize the economy, beauty, and pride in our
- Ascertain the qualifications, talents, and ideas
of current city employees
- Develop an accountability system to deal with
problems identified in the city
- Have regular department head and staff meetings
to maintain accountability in all areas of city services.
- Continue to work with State, County, City,
Chamber, Regional Development, and concerned citizens to
establish St. Albans as a tourist destination for recreation, live
theatre, and the arts.
- Continue to work on the annexation of the
- Develop community friendly services.
- Maintain an impartial, just and fair municipal court