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First house in clean up comes down

CHESAPEAKE — The first steps of a long anticipated project to rid the village of Chesapeake of eyesore buildings began last week.

That’s when contractors tore down an abandoned house on the hillside off Rockwood Avenue.

“This is the first one we’ve been able to get down,” Mayor Dick Gilpin said. “We have been working on it for a year. It is the beginning of cleaning up the village of derelict homes. The next step is working on another one.”

The funding for the work came from the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization, which contracted out the project. A government entity can get dilapidated structures torn down with CAO money if it gets the approval of the homeowner.

That can take time if the owner has moved out of state. However, if the owner agrees, the owner will not be charged for the demolition work.

The long-term goal in Chesapeake is to get about 12 more targeted structures down.

“We have been in contact with the property owners,” Gilpin said. “It is just convincing them to agree to it, getting the paperwork signed and contracts let.”

Most of the buildings are on Rockwood Avenue with a few on Third Avenue.

“Any vacant buildings we have in the village that are not usable we are trying to get taken down,” the mayor said.

Also village road crews are currently working on getting the streets cleaned up from the debris left from winter snow removal. Both salt and gravel were used this season to get snow off the roadways.

“We put a lot of the stuff on the roads. Now we have to clean it up,” Gilpin said. “We tried to stretch the salt by using gravel. Now we are trying to sweep up the gravel. Hopefully, we are not getting any more snow.”