WCVI structure continues to pose safety hazards to Connellsville residents
By Cindy Ekas
Published: Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, 6:42 a.m.
Connellsville Health Board members Monday expressed concerns that the former WCVI building located at 131-139 E. Crawford Ave. continues to pose health and safety hazards to city residents.
The building, which had been owned by Fayette County, has been sold to Shane O'Brien of Phoenix at a cost of $700, according to Tom Currey, the city's health and code enforcement officer.
“The new owner has until Sept. 30 to register the building and take possession,” Currey said. “The city has to wait until after the Sept. 30 deadline to object to the sale. The city can then try to take possession of the building. The municipality and the school district will have a chance to object to the sale of the building.
“The building is in danger of falling down,” he added. “But no one knows how long it will take before it comes down.”
If fire breaks out in the building, the local fire departments have been notified not to send volunteer firefighters inside the building because it is too dangerous, Currey said.
“The fire departments have been told to watch the building burn down,” he said. “It's not safe for anyone to go inside.”
Currey said the building was declared unsafe for human habitation in March 2010 when a business was operating from the dilapidated structure.
“The building has been vacant since that time,” Currey said.
Currey and health board members expressed concerns about out-of-state companies buying vacant structures in Connellsville.
“These companies buy the structures in tax sales and other procedures,” he said. “They plan to fix up the buildings, but nothing ever happens. The buildings are then declared public nuisances, and the city is responsible for taking action to tear the buildings down. We have no idea why these companies are buying dilapidated buildings and houses in Connellsville. It doesn't make sense, and it hurts the city.”
In addition to the WCVI building, Currey said three other buildings in the city are scheduled for demolition. They include 916 Aetna St., 1018-1020 Aetna St. and 108-110 Gallatin Ave.
“These are dangerous structures that need to be demolished,” he said.
Currey also gave health board members an update on the “cat house” located at 404½ Eliza St., owned by Richard Stewart. The house was declared unsafe for human habitation last year after more than 30 cats were removed from the structure.
“The bank foreclosed on the property,” Currey said. “The bank sent people to the property, and they are trying to clean it out. We're going to give them some time. We have received phone calls from the neighbors saying that the windows are open and a horrible smell is coming from the house. We're going to contact the bank to let them know they can't open the windows.”
Cindy Ekas is a contributing writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Growing up Connellsville’ during the Great Depression
- Looking back to look forward to positive days once again
- Suspect sought in rash of Fayette ATV thefts
- Museum offers tribute to Connellsville’s past
- No property tax increase planned in Springfield
- Confluence man pleads guilty to assaults on 2 boys
- Uniontown to seek assistant business manager
- Classic ballet to take Geyer stage
- Tri-Town Ministries sets combined church services for Monday
- Brownsville man pleads guilty to homicide charge